Reduce Food Waste With TDS

Compost Hands


Sponsored Post – from Texas Disposal Systems

Beginning October 1st, Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) will require all food service enterprises greater than or equal to 5,000 square feet to ensure their employees have convenient access to organics diversion services. The ordinance supports Austin’s Zero Waste goal by requiring food permitted businesses to reduce or divert organic material away from the landfill, ultimately increasing the life of local landfills, reducing harmful environmental impacts, and encouraging economic development.

Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) is committed to helping the food service industry make the transition. Below we’ve outlined some challenges that can come with organics diversion, as well as considerations for meeting the URO requirements.


High costs are often cited as the chief concern for avoiding composting. Though the perception can be that specialty recycling services are cost prohibitive, it’s possible to find affordable, full-service composting service providers and many, in fact, offer value far beyond just picking up and processing organic waste. For example, at TDS, we help compile annual Organics Diversion Plans for customers, which are due by February 1 each year. We also accept meat and dairy products unlike most facilities.

Attracting Rodents and Bacteria

Another worry associated with composting is that it will attract rodents and bacteria. Given the proximity to dining areas, this is a valid concern as it could put patrons at risk for contracting foodborne illnesses. To combat this issue, we recommend restaurants utilize containers designed to help maintain cleanliness in kitchen areas. TDS provides specialized bins that are an ideal size for composting.

Limiting Contamination

Contamination in recycling is also a challenge that restaurants could face, given the sorting process may prolong wait times for diners. To limit contamination, it’s important to get trained on recycling efficiency (including what’s compostable and how to handle liquid waste) and develop positive recycling habits. TDS assists customers by providing signage, education, and training on our three-stream program.

How TDS Can Help

TDS is devoted to the success of its customers as this new composting ordinance continues to roll out. Throughout partnerships with a variety of local businesses such as ACL/C3 Presents, Dell Diamond, and the Four Seasons Hotel, TDS has helped create and implement recycling and composting programs to maximize diversion efforts. Simple changes such as adding and highlighting recycling containers, selling compostable silverware, and taking advantage of opportunities to educate customers can make a tremendous impact on an establishment’s composting efforts.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce recognized TDS’ commitment to environmentally sound practices by honoring us with The Brookfield Residential Environmental Friendly Award this year. With the community and the environment at the forefront of our mind, we consider the commitment to partnering with local businesses to improve recycling efforts a moral responsibility. We’re here to help your business make a seamless transition to ensure complete .


Please note – editorials and sponsored posts are written by guest writers to inform and educate the community on a variety of different viewpoints, as well as to share information about local eco-friendly businesses and organizations. However, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Austin EcoNetwork. 

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