Over the past 25 years Vermonters have increased the amount of waste being sent to landfills. Simultaneously, landfills have decreased in capacity and markets to recycle and compost resources have expanded. Our waste stream is composed largely of recyclable resources in the form of food, glass, aluminum, plastics, paper, oils, and more. ACT 148 was unanimously established by the VT Legislature in 2012 as a means to drastically reduce waste going to landfills and achieve zero waste.
The Skinny Pancake is committed to lead dining businesses in compliance and cooperation with the Agency of Natural Resources and ACT 148. Since its incubation in 2003, the Skinny Pancake has been developing and expanding comprehensive recycling, compost, and resource rescue systems. ACT 148 and its stakeholders have provided technical assistance and tools to increase efficiency and capacity to properly sort resources in priority described by the VT Food Recovery Hierarchy, pictured below:
This policy basically states food should be reduced at the source by careful planning, buying, and producing; once procured, food is consumed by humans and leftovers are donated to food shelves and food banks; any food scraps inedible for humans including peels ,shells, or cores are used for agricultural purposes such as animal feed, compost for soil production, and energy production. Landfill is seen as a last resort.
What is the Skinny Pancake doing to achieve Zero Waste?
- Every Skinny Pancake restaurant has a comprehensive back of house compost system where food scraps are either sent to large scale compost facilities or farms
- Every SP recycles diligently through sorting of glass, aluminum, paper, and plastics separate from food scraps, oil, and grease
- In Chittenden County, representative from the Chittenden County Solid Waste district walked through restaurants with management to ensure compliance with ACT 148 and to ensure all products were properly being sorted for recovery
- Staff are trained extensively on the paper items in the restaurant and how to sort empty containers, food scraps, and oil
- Chefs are trained to procure food accurately and carefully by tracking buying history year over year and conducting monthly inventory
- When excess food occurs items such as raw produce, milk, and bakery items are donated to the local food shelf
- All Skinny Pancake locations donate used cooking oil to Black Bear Biodiesel for biodiesel production