Bakeries are in a unique situation to divert waste and save money in the process.
At the end of each day, most bakeries have unsold food, such as bread and pastries. Instead of tossing it away, bakeries that seek to lower their environmental footprint and support their local community, may choose to donate any left-over food to their local food bank.
Aside from supporting their local community, a secondary benefit of donating food to the local food bank is that it leads to lower trash hauling costs due to the lower trash volume and weight. Last, but not least, eligible bakeries may also deduct food donations from federal tax income.
Next to donating food to the local food bank, bakeries can further lower their cost by eliminating single-use items, such as plastic cups, plastic straws, glass- and plastic bottles. This not only reduces the volume, and therefore cost of trash, but also reduces the cost of purchasing these single-use items to begin with.
Studies have shown that customer experience is also improved by taking these measures. A clear example is using a ceramic cup instead of a to-go cup for in-house consumption.
Mundea's waste audits have shown that more than 90% of a bakery's waste can either be recycled or composted.
Cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic- and glass bottles can all be recycled. Enrolling into a cardboard- and/or single-stream recycling program helps divert waste and can drastically lower costs.
Paper towels, napkins, food scraps and certified compostable materials can all be composted. Bakeries that are composting have reported that internal processes in food procurement and internal food handling have been improved leading to food cost savings.
In summary, please see below the steps that a bakery can take towards an integrated approach towards waste management that leads to enhanced waste diversion and significant cost savings:
In Mundea's upcoming blog posts, we will discuss waste management tips & tricks per line of business as well as actual Case Studies on how businesses have set up their trash-, recycling- and/or compost program.
Information will also be provided on what is recyclable, what is compostable and how to set up a trash area.
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