Have trash bins around. Sound easy enough? It is, but there’s a science to how close the receptacles should be placed to reduce litter.
Tackling the challenge of litter is overwhelming and best done in collaboration of partners. The Foodservice Packaging Institute, Keep America Beautiful, and the National Restaurant Association have taken leadership in researching and addressing the cost of litter for businesses and the environment.
Resulting insights indicate that fast-food packaging accounts for more than 5% of all the litter in the United States. Most frequently littered items include food remnants, wrappers, containers, napkins, and beverage cans. (Source: Keep America Beautiful, National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study, 2009).
What causes this amount of littering? Behavior and convenience of receptacles. Most of littering is done intentionally by dropping or flicking it elsewhere, according to the survey. Another study done by The Walt Disney Co. indicated that placing trash bins less than 30 feet apart contributes to improved garbage disposal.
To ensure your operation is properly managing trash and litter, download the Foodservice Operator Checklist from: A_Guide_to_Reducing_and_Managing_Litter_2015.
Beyond a compliant establishment, good citizenship and contribution to a healthy environment, there’s also legal reasons for trash management. Keep up with the state’s litter laws by visiting: http://www.opala.org/solid_waste/Criminal_Littering.html.