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Composting at the Ginkgo Restaurant

Ever wonder what happens to the dirty dishes you send down the tray return in the Ginkgo Restaurant? Behind the scenes, a new sorting process is taking place. Instead of scraping plates directly into the garbage, staffers are now sorting out the food waste as well as any compostable items such as paper napkins and cups and disposable silverware. These items are going into new green bins, which are picked up twice a week and taken to a commercial composting facility.
 
“We started collecting our compostables last month and so far, it is going well. We are seeing a definite decrease in the amount of actual garbage going out,” says Klaus Lotter, executive chef of the Ginkgo Restaurant.
 
In addition to composting, the kitchen staff also is making recycling a priority. Chef Klaus says the kitchen now puts out four to five times as much recycling as it does general garbage.
 
The goal, according to food service director Jeffrey Cassell, is to increase composting and recycling enough to warrant eliminating one of the 6-cubic-yard garbage containers at the restaurant. “Already, we have eliminated one garbage pickup per week, which is great progress,” he says.