In Santa Cruz County, food is the largest component of the waste stream for food handling businesses. For most restaurants and grocery stores, 40-75% of total waste is food scraps — spoiled fruits and vegetables, stale bakery items, kitchen prep trimmings, and leftover plate scrapings, which can be composted into a beneficial soil amendment, thus greatly reducing the amount of material going into landfills and saving on disposal bills. Three options for diverting food scraps are described below.
Food scraps and soiled paper are collected from restaurants and other businesses, transported by Green Waste Recovery to a compost facility and converted into compost.
Businesses are encouraged to donate edible food to community organizations who distribute food to those in need. California’s Good Samaritan Law ensures liability protection for such donations.
Some businesses are able to compost their food scraps at their business location. Successful projects include:
Example of three-bin composter for camps and conference centers
Earth Tubs (In-Vessel Composting Units) in operationat the California Grey Bears Food Redistribution Center.