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December 2007

Burgerville composting and recycling program expanded

Holland, Inc. announced that its Burgerville chain of restaurants will expand its pilot composting and recycling program company-wide in an effort to redirect 85 percent of restaurant-generated waste. Burgerville has 39 restaurants across Oregon and Southwest Washington.

With the rollout of the expanded composting and recycling initiative, Burgerville is expected to be participating on a full-scale basis by the end of this year.

At present, 34 Burgerville restaurants are participating in the recycling program and 8 restaurants are participating in a prototype program which incorporates both composting and recycling. It is the company’s goal to have 20 restaurants participating in both composting and recycling by January 2008 and ultimately all 39 restaurants doing both by mid-2008.

Working with the City of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development, Burgerville’s effort is serving as a model for businesses to use to develop their own recycling programs.

Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development found that 75 percent of waste generation comes from the business sector, while 25 percent originates with single-family households. Overall, nearly 270,000 tons of food and food-soiled paper are thrown away each year in the Portland metropolitan area. Burgerville currently generates 340 tons of waste monthly.

Composting and recycling waste is not only good for the environment — Burgerville has found the cost to recycle costs less than garbage removal fees. If Burgerville moves 85 percent of its waste stream to composting or recycling, instead of sending the amount to a landfill, the company would assume a $100,000 cost savings in waste removal charges each year.

Burgerville’s food waste is delivered to the Cedar Grove Composting, a Washington-state organic recycling company that turns the material into nutrient-rich compost sold to businesses and home owners to use for soil enhancement.