Plastic, glass bottles, corks, used oil: Restaurants increasingly are finding ways to repurpose these in everything from countertops to hand soap. Some inspiration:
Dali Wine Bar & Cellar, Dallas: Corks are donated to school art programs or sent to a cork-recycling company. Used corks also are embedded into the bar’s resin counter.
Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles: When the two concepts’ used vegetable oil is converted into biodiesel, the remaining glycerin, a byproduct of the conversion process, is made into hand soap that’s used in the restaurants.
Big Bowl, multiple locations: Recycled plastic bottles are one of the post-consumer materials in the fabric used to make the chain’s new employee uniforms.
Pizza Fusion, multiple locations: After finding recycled-glass countertops to be cost-prohibitive, the chain called on a Florida artisan, who now hand-crafts counters from a mix of concrete and used glass bottles gathered from Pizza Fusion locations.
Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, N.C.: A few years ago, Chef-instructor Paul Malcolm started collecting vegetable scraps in a bucket for use in his home compost pile. Students and faculty members now compost 60 tons of food waste per year at the school.
-Restaurants and Institutions, 9/2009
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