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New Mexico Café’s Go Green

Albuquerque, NM kitchens and cafeterias are going green. According to a recent article from Newswise, local eatery, The Thunderbird café, has taken to composting their food waste.

“The composting program began in March 2010 as a pilot to divert food preparation waste and leftovers from the regular waste stream that is sent to Rio Rancho’s landfill to a local business that recycles food waste into usable (and sell-able) compost.

Except for a few initial burps, the program has been a success. “We had problems at first with getting non-compostables separated, but it’s gotten better over time,” café supervisor Steven Lassiter said.

The composting program won Sandia’s 2011 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Excellence Award for the Risk Mitigation/Environmental Protection category.

“During the six-month pilot last year, the café diverted more than 15,000 pounds of wet food waste from going into the landfill,” said Sandia/New Mexico’s recycling coordinator Sam McCord. “Thanks to the cafeteria staff’s successful adoption of the composting process and the great results, the program has been fully adopted this year,” McCord said.

Sandia soon will divert more than one-third of Thunderbird Café’s routine waste into the composting program, he said. Sandia uses revenue from recycling paper and other waste materials to pay for the composting project. One goal is to reduce the cost of refuse disposal at the cafeteria.

McCord also expects the program to expand into other food-service facilities at the Labs, such as the Tech Area 4 cafeteria, where bins are set up for diners to sort their biodegradable materials for composting. Because the Tech Area 4 cafeteria is smaller and requires less variety in its food packaging, it soon will begin using special compostable plates and utensils, McCord said.” Click to read the entire article.

The trend continues…. Do your local eateries compost food scraps?

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