The majority of waste created by a restaurant is organic and can be recycled. With increasing garbage handling fees and overflowing landfills, recycling is no longer an option; it is a necessity. Here are a few waste reduction techniques that can benefit every commercial kitchen, as well as the environment. Our Top Nine Conduct a waste assessment. Either by glancing into your trash cans or making a mental list of products being purchased will tell you the types of waste your restaurant generates. Knowing the waste types is crucial to planning a recycling program. Implement a recycling program. Recycling involves more than just sorting aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Through proper waste management, your restaurant can greatly decrease its garbage bill. Keep an eye on your food waste. Pay attention to what your bussers are bringing back into the kitchen, and remove or minimize foods that customers do not typically finish. And although presentation is important, reducing garnishes will save you money on both food and trash costs. Purchase recycled content products. Using recycled and recyclable products closes the recycling loop. Items made from post-consumer recycled material are the most eco-friendly choice. Send food packaging back. Pallets and food crates can be used again, so talk with your supplier and see how to best handle food packaging for reuse. Pulp and compost food waste. Either through contracting with local growers or composting on site, food waste and some paper products can be turned in to a nutrient rich soil additive and kept out of a landfill. Collect used oil and grease. Used fryer oil and other forms of cooking grease are a valuable commodity to biodiesel and rendering firms. Reclaim water for cleaning practices. Rather than dumping water from the steam table down the drain, it can easily be used to wipe down countertops at the end of the night. Use reusable cleaning cloths and napkins. Since most single-use cleaning towels end up in a landfill, it makes financial and environmental sense to use products that be easily cleaned and reused. Replace styrofoam and plastic disposables All plastic takeout and disposable items have biodegradable and compostable counterparts.