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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ATL Caterer Hits Major Zero Waste Milestone

Atlanta's first Zero Waste Zones caterer Affairs to Remember Caterers topped 200 tons of material diverted from landfills and into recycling programs, including food residuals going to a composting facility.  ATR's achievable goal is to reach the 500 ton recycling benchmark by mid 2015.  Kudos to ATR for surpassing a major zero waste milestone!

As a Charter ZWZ Participant, ATR GM, Patrick Cuccaro, and Director of Sustainability, Sandy Rothstein, worked through the challenges of making back-of-the-house organics separation for composting collection work with ease into their daily operations.  With a phased-in process, ATR developed organics-separation practices for off-premise events.

See the ZWZ Blog post, Common ZWZ Refrain: It's EASY, for quotes from Patrick and other ZWZ Champions on the ease of introducing zero waste initiatives into operations.  Arriving at the point of ease was the result of diligent efforts by pioneers like ATR.   

The ATR press release, Affairs to Remember Caterers Diverts 200 Tons from Landfills; Legacy Green Program Sets Bar for Atlanta Caterers, includes impressive details of ATR's achievement.  Several videos accompany the press release to give the visual impact of their standard operating practices.

Chef Ahmad nurturing garden
Extending beyond their commitment to meet ZWZ Criteria, the ATR Legacy Green program takes a leadership role in supporting local and sustainable agriculture.  In addition to forging alliances with local farmers, Executive Chef Ahmad Nourzad nurtures the on-premise chef's garden and uses its bounty in his excellent cuisine.  The ZWZ Blog post, Chef Gardens ~ A Tasty Way to Close the Loop, highlights ATR's garden and Chef Ahmad.

In Patrick's words:
"The Zero Waste Zone mega-movement was a catalyst, as well as an avenue, for Affairs to Remember to become greener than we'd ever been.  We'd already been sourcing local organic foods whenever possible - even before 'farm-to-party' sourcing became wildly popular.
Adding companywide composting initiatives and beefing up our recycling efforts has also created a strong sense of pride throughout our organization.  It's gratifying to see our staff enthusiastically enforce our composting standards. They know that they're making a difference in our local environment and setting the bar for others to follow."

With their Legacy Program, ATR expands their sustainability commitment into the social responsibility realm.  Legacy Giving was founded in 2007 as an avenue for ATR to nurture a community that supported ATR's growth into one of Atlanta's prominent luxury caterers.  Visit the site for an impressive list of organizations benefiting from ATR's generosity grounded in gratitude.

Patrick Cuccaro
Leadership is inherent in ATR culture.  Last week Patrick was elected to Chair the Georgia Restaurant Association in 2012 after serving as Vice-Chair in 2011.  With over 25 years in the hospitality industry, Patrick brings expertise, passion and talent to his leadership role.  The ZWZ Blog post, ZWZ Champion Leads GA's Restaurant Industry, gives the details of the well-earned honor.

For additional perspectives on Patrick's talent to transfer personal convictions into solid business practices, see the ZWZ Blog post, ZWZ: A Powerful Marketing Tool. The post is a profile of Patrick's successes along with a link to a national feature on the National Restaurant Association News BlogAiming for zero waste brings increased sales to caterer.

Milestones are abundant at Affairs to Remember Caterers.  ATR laid a phenomenal foundation and 2012 is destined for amazing achievements in the many shades of green.


  1. Patrick has always been a phenomenal leader --at Affairs, in professional organizations and in theater. Let's see how quickly the other catering companies step up to this new level of ZWZ culture.

  2. When will the Hospitality Industry recognize the zero waste impact of Recycling their Cutting Boards?

  3. Thank you, Patrice!

    CC in AL, why don't you send your information over to me directly? We'd like to hear about this. You can reach me at