Once you’ve identified materials in your waste stream that can be recovered, evaluate your waste-hauling service to see what disposal changes are possible.
If you control your own disposal services:
Contact your hauler to see if it offers recycling and composting services. If not:
Your city’s recycling/sanitation department to get a list of licensed recycling haulers in your area.
Other foodservice operators who recycle/compost to find out which companies they use.
Local composters to see if they offer hauling services or can refer you to one that does. In addition, check out Biocycle's Findacomposter.com to find the nearest composter to you.
When contacting haulers, make sure to ask:
Compare the cost of adding recycling or composting services. Compare it to current waste service costs.
Which materials they accept for recycling or composting? Compare this to items found in your waste audit.
What size garbage container you need for your business? Don’t skip this step! Downsizing your garbage service is the primary way to save money when recycling and composting.
What type of garbage containers they use and whether they’re well-labeled? Are containers lockable to prevent scavenging and if they’re compatible with your available space?
How the recyclables are collected. For example, could all the recyclables go in one container or would you need to separate certain materials? If so, which ones?
What additional resources they provide. Ask if they offer on-site waste audits, front-of-house containers, signage, educational materials and/or training to improve your program.
Find out what the collection schedule is, options to minimize frequency of pickups and transportation costs to haul your waste away.
If you lease your location and do not control your own waste services:
Ask your landlord what services are available or if there are opportunities for the property to add recycling and composting options? Talk to other tenants who may be interested in recycling or composting.
Haulers are highly competitive. Even if your current hauler offers recycling/composting services, be sure to request quotes from other haulers to compare costs and services.
If you are a franchisee, find out if you must adhere to corporate guidelines when selecting a hauler or if your parent company already contracts with a specific company.