Good practice

Compacting waste in Californian restaurant

Compacting waste in Californian restaurant
© Marko Novkov, image #168348363, 2018, source:
Waste, Carbon
Hotel and restaurant
High cost
Annual saving:
Payback time:
0.8 - 1 Year(s)
Resource savings: Waste:
Waste volume reduction (50 %) and monthly cost reduction
Associated cost savings: Waste:
Return on investment:
9 month return on investment
Co2 emission reduction:
Garbage transportation rate reduced by 80 %
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10), Small (less than 50)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
One off investment:

Pack it down and cut waste costs!

  • Compacting restaurant waste reduces volume, cost and hauling
  • Around € 1 400 saved on waste-removal every month
  • Up to 80 % reduction of associated CO2 emissions from hauling

Panera Bread is an environmentally friendly restaurant in San Francisco, USA. Its 'green' focus extends to the way the restaurant handles waste as well. Installing a compactor was seen as vital to reducing its waste volumes.

Panera Bread needed a large (~7 metres) dumpster which was hauled four to five days a week. With the compactor, they only needed a 3.7-metre dumpster and one hauling a week, which is an 80 % saving on associated CO2 emissions. This saved the company money while helping to improve the environment. Compacted waste is also cleaner to manage and gives off less odour.

Key results  

The compactor cut associated waste-removal costs from € 2 400 to € 1 000 per month. The average cost of installing compaction equipment suitable for a restaurant of Panera's size is € 12 500, resulting in a return on investment after around nine months.

Compactors can reduce waste streams anywhere from five cans to one or 20 to one, depending on their size. They are available in sizes as small as a refrigerator or as large as a loading bay. Panera Bread's programme has also inspired change at other locations where comprehensive recycling programmes are available.

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