What: Adding single stream recycling in the “back of house” and organics recycling throughout the restaurant.

Why: To extend their commitment to their community to the environment as a whole.

How: Worked with Waste Wise to connect with service providers and create effective internal collection procedures.

Results: Diverting 52,000 pounds of organics recycling and 10,400 pound of single stream recycling from the landfill and saving $1,920 every year.

Culvers Anoka

Culver’s on West Main in the city of Anoka has long been a responsible and charitable community member. It is with these values owner Amanda Braml decided to make some environmentally conscious improvements. Along with a freshly remodeled restaurant, Culver’s chose to begin recycling all of the organic waste generated at the restaurant. Furthermore, Culver’s implemented single stream recycling allowing its employees to recycle many of the materials generated during food preparation.

The result of all of this great work is that every year over 60,000 pounds of recyclable material is now being diverted from the landfill or incinerator. This material is now being used to create new products and also provide compost for farms, gardens and public works projects. Perhaps the best part of these improvements is Culver’s is now saving nearly $2,000 annually because they have been able to reduce the frequency of their trash pick-ups. Since trash is taxed and recycling is not, reducing trash service allows businesses to save money on monthly waste and recycling bills.

When the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation first met with Culver’s in Anoka, the only material being recycled was cardboard. However, owner Amanda Braml was eager to improve on the status quo. Waste Wise connected Braml with her existing service provider Aspen Waste Systems to add single stream recycling, and facilitated a new relationship with Waste Management for organics recycling.

With hauling services in place, Culver’s now needed to update their outdoor waste enclosure to make room for the new recycling streams, add internal collection bins for customers and employees, create custom signs and purchase compostable bags to line the organics recycling bins. Waste Wise worked with Culver’s to obtain a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Business Environmental Sustainability Finance Program award in the amount of $4,000. This award helped to significantly offset the costs of Culver’s improved waste and recycling infrastructure.