Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2015

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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20 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2015 operator's opinion Shredding Our Way to a Greener Foodservice Operation I n today's foodservice industry, everyone wants to be more environ- mentally friendly and the corporate dining team at Freddie Mac is no exception. Like many other foodservice operations, we specify compostable "take out" containers that our customers can use as they purchase their meals. But if we have no way of actually turning these compostable containers into actual com- post, we are coming up short on our goal to become more environmentally friendly. That was a challenge we were facing not that long ago. Through some diligent research and working collaboratively with our supply chain, though, we have been able to solve this challenge. Before exploring our solution, here's a little background about our operations. Freddie Mac's main campus consists of four buildings that are home to three full- service cafes, two c-stores and one coffee bar. Full breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The salad bar, snacks and desserts are available until 3 p.m. On average, we handle 5,073 transactions per day in support of a campus population of almost 6,000 people. We believe we do a great job with recycling thanks to the efforts of our build- ing facilities team. In the foodservice area, however, there was still much that could be done to improve on these efforts. So I took a closer look at how much waste we generate each day and started looking for opportunities to lower that total and recapture some of that food waste. Waste management has always been a priority for us. Our contract foodservice provider, FLIK Hospitality Group, has a practice called Trimtrax which requires each member of the culinary staff to add all their trimmings and waste into clear buckets at their stations. At the end of the shift, the total Trimtrax volume is recorded and a preset "per quart" value is assigned to the material before it is bagged in compostable liners and added to our organic collection bins that are emptied twice a week. The material is then transported to a commercial com- posting facility across town. By assign- ing a value and tracking the volume, the FLIK management team is able to better control food cost. It allows the staff to actually see how much of the raw prod- uct is really used. As a result of my involvement with our Green Campus initiative, I decided that adding an organic material grinder/ dehydrator to the dish room operation needed to be considered. I had seen these machines before and they turn food waste into something that looks like a mix of peat moss and sawdust. Plants love it because it's so nutrient rich. My thinking was that we could bag the processed material and sell it to our employees who could then use it in their gardens at home. Unfortunately, this option was too costly at that time. Our attention turned back to the compostable food containers. For vari- ous reasons our guests love to eat out of them even though we offer china in our cafés. All these relatively expensive compostable containers were ending up in the solid waste stream and taking up a lot of space, because we did not have any equipment available to reduce their volume other than the solid waste com- pactor. Each day we were hauling about 16 65-gallon trash bags full of these containers to the compactor. We tried to fnd ways to shred them and identifed an option that could be Guido J. Boers Manager, Corporate Food Service & Amenities Freddie Mac McLean, Va.

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