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Restaurant food waste reduction guide



Condensed Restaurant Guide (Web), Condensed Restaurant Guide (Web)Condensed Restaurant Guide (Web)
Condensed Restaurant Guide (Print), Condensed Restaurant Guide (Print)Condensed Restaurant Guide (Print)

The Restaurant Guide explains how to reduce food waste through prevention, donation, and recycling. It also contains a 7 step guide to help you design, implement and maintain a successful food waste recycling program.

For more detailed guides please consult the following:​



Expanded Restaurant Guide, Expanded Restaurant GuideExpanded Restaurant Guide
Closing the Loop Guide, Closing the Loop GuideClosing the Loop Guide

How many green bins does my building need?

Use this guide to estimate how many Green Bins are needed for a restaurant, food retail space, office building, or large venue.​



Green Bins needed for non-residential buildings, Green Bins needed for non-residential buildingsGreen Bins needed for non-residential buildings

Recycling hotline

The Recycling Council of BC staff can answer your questions about the organics disposal ban, and provide a list of commercial hauling and depackaging services. Contact the Recycling Hotline at 604-REC-YCLE (604-732-9253).

Food donation tips

Metro Vancouver estimates 65,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste is discarded in the region each year. Increasing donations may help reduce what you throw away.

NEW Industry Food Donation Guidelines now available on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website below: (click the “Donation Guidelines” tab and scroll to “Industry Food Donation Guidelines”)

Visit BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)

The BC Centre for Disease Control (the Provincial authority on donating food), in partnership with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Food Banks BC and Metro Vancouver, published the Industry Food Donation Guidelines to encourage donations of safe, healthy food to local food banks and charities. The Guidelines help business owners, managers or other decision-makers answer these questions:

  • Why donate food?​
  • How to start and manage a food donation program? – step by step guide
  • What foods are suitable for donation?
  • What about risk and liability?


Food waste prevention is a way for restaurants to realize savings, fine tune menu planning and engage staff in improving kitchen efficiency. A successful food waste prevention program begins with an assessment of your waste. Both the US EPA, and WRAP UK have conducted extensive research and developed tools that can help with waste assessment and provides recommendations on how to improve operations. View the US EPA and WRAP UK sites below.

Businesses have asked about options for managing organics on-site. This report is for businesses and institutions that produce 10 to 1,000 tonnes of food waste per year (360 L to 40 cubic yards per week) and multi-family buildings with at least 50 units. The technologies include methods to store, de-water, condense, or process food waste on-site, and are available in Canada. Technologies that discharge an end product to the sewer system were excluded. Criteria for the reviews include operational costs, corporate sustainability, footprint, and maintenance.



Review of options for managing organics on-site, Review of options for managing organics on-siteReview of options for managing organics on-site

On-site composting for multi-family, businesses, and institutions

City Farmer, operates the regional Compost Hotline and also maintains a web resource of some currently operating smaller on-site technologies. View the City Farmer webpage below.

'On-Site Composting’ for Multi-Family, Businesses and Institutions

On-site composting technology review, 2012

This report examined seven on-site composting operations ranging from low tech traditional bin systems in multi-family residential buildings to high tech automated systems in institutions. Detailed case studies are presented. All technologies produce compost, and are best suited to sites that can use the finished compost in local landscaping, and require a committed operator.​​


 Related links



Recycling Signage & Resources, Recycling Signage & ResourcesRecycling Signage & Resources

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