Composting In The Food Service Industry



Sponsored Post – from Texas Disposal Systems

Beginning October 1st, Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) will require all food service enterprises 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.

Though perceived inconvenience and high-costs may be a deterrent to composting, it is important to recognize that 80 percent of all items thrown away are recyclable or compostable. Texas Disposal Systems (TDS), one of the largest independently-owned solid waste collection, processing and disposal companies in the nation, can process a majority of waste through their large-scale composting operations. Though TDS has faced several industry challenges on the path to developing successful composting practices, they have identified practical solutions to help food service establishments remain compliant with the URO.

Knowing that lack of training is a key barrier to food waste recycling, TDS prioritizes education to set restaurants up for success from the start of their service. TDS provides signage in kitchen and dining areas to make it easy and convenient for both customers and staff to properly recycle food waste and other recyclable items. Cooking and prep areas are also stocked with clearly labeled and brightly colored bins to help the staff keep waste streams organized and consistent.

Another key challenge associated with food waste recycling is that many waste providers are unable to process meat and dairy products, which are both staples of most restaurant menus. TDS is equipped to process meat and dairy as well as items such as beer, soda, wastewater, and other organic waste. Their facility can also handle green waste such as tree trimmings, grass clippings, untreated wood products and paper. By keeping these materials out of the landfill, compost can be created to treat lawns and landscapes, help reduce waste, cut down on emissions and improve the health of green space while minimizing the potential for soil erosion.

Overall, composting plays an integral role in sustaining our natural resources and the environment for future generations. It’s important for communities and businesses to band together to implement recycling programs that divert waste to beneficial uses. Despite the perceived challenges foodwaste recycling presents, there are a multitude of resources to integrate foodwaste recycling into your business, making your food service establishment compliant with the URO.

To learn more about services offered by TDS, please visit

TDS Food Waste


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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