It's the uncoated paper that makes this Burgerville carbon bomb compostable. Photo Jake of 8bitjoystick @ flickr
Fresh. Local. Sustainable. That's the Burgerville tag line, and while some people might take issue with the whole idea of sustainable burgers (in the famous cheeseburger video by Jamais Cascio a burger is basically a carbon mini-bomb), Burgerville seems to be putting some pretty cool best-practice ideas out there for the rest of the fast-food industry. And the food, while not as cheap as a Mickey D's or Taco Bell, is really tasty. Best strawberry, blackberry and marionberry shakes anywhere, ever.
Fast food nation, recycled
Burgerville (39 stores based only in the Pacific Northwest) wants to eventually keep 85 percent of its waste out of the waste stream via source reduction, recycling and composting. Their big innovation has been to start a complete evolution toward renewable resource packaging - PLA Natureworks salad dishes and cutlery, shake and drink cups, and breakfast "platters," as well as uncoated paper to wrap the burgers and as platter liners. That doesn't mean that the empties from your milkshakes can be composted...not yet. But yesterday at one trial store in Portland at 85th and Gleason Streets, Burgerville sustainability coordinator Amaranth Wilson previewed what she is calling the "dining room sort system" to allow patrons to dump their compostables in one large green container, their recyclables in a blue container and their landfill trash in a bin black bin. "It was great," she said. "We were taking people through it and they really seemed to be getting it."Cheaper to compost
Burgerville currently generates 340 tons of waste monthly. Composting through the City of Portland's restaurant waste recycling program is cheaper than the cost of garbage removal, so there's a big business case for compost. According to the company approximately $100,000 would be saved yearly if all the restaurants fully comply. Wilson hopes to roll the dining room sort system to other stores as they are ready - she says it only takes a couple of months to recoup the costs of the bins by waste reduction and increased composting. In addition, Burgerville is introducing napkin and paper towel dispensers that encourage one-per-person usage. Via ::Burgerville.com
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