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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Organics Collection Headed Towards Mainstream

It is a thrilling time in the Zero Waste Zones world!  Organics collection is one of the hottest topics in foodservice industry sustainability discussions and project developement.  Operators, ranging from convention centers, arenas and shopping centers to single-standing full-service and quick-service restaurants, are exploring how organics collection best fits into their standard operating practices.

Steve Simon & Jim Hansen
HAVI Global Solutions, the supply chain management company for McDonald's, Darden Restaurants, and Pret A Manger, to name a few of their major clients, took the inauguaral steps in organics collection/composting eduction.  In preparation for an anticipated organics collections pilot program at Metro Atlanta McDonald's,  Jim Hansen, HAVI Global Director of Sustainability, and Jessica Farrar, Project Manager, met with Fifth Group Restaurants and Greenco Environmental during their recent Atlanta visit.

Steve Simon, ZWZ Champion and Fifth Group Restaurants Partner, explained how organics collection works in a full-service, single-standing restaurant, using Ecco as the visual example .  With organics collection a standard operating practice at Fifth Group, Steve discussed how to educate and work with landlords for stores located in multi-use buildings and centers.  It was inspiring to hear Steve mention organics collection capability was a "deal breaker" in a recent lease negotiation with a major real estate developer.

Tim Lesko, Jessica Farrar
 & Jim Hansen
The following day Jim and Jessica traveled south to visit Greenco Environmental, the only active food composting-permitted site in Georgia.  Tim Lesko, Greenco co-owner, was phenomenal as he educated on the composting process, from organics delivery to sale of the end product.

Tim educating on the
compost process
Dedicated to creating effective systems from the start, Jim & Jessica are investing their time and resources to learn from the early pioneers on how to best create back and front-of-the-house organics collection systems.  The ZWZ and Sustainable Food Court Initiative Teams are serving as solid resource tools for HAVI in the research stage and will continue to provide support through implementation and beyond.

With McDonald's, the second most recognized brand in the world, exploring organics collection through HAVI, organics diversion from landfill is well on the path to mainstream adoption in the foodservice industry.  Stay tuned for more tales from the journey!

Visit the Elemental Impact FB Page, for the 06-11 HAVI visits ATL re: explore organics collection photo album for more pictures from the Greenco tour.

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