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Opportunities to Recycle Are Everywhere

November 14, 2014

By: Darden Restaurants,

Opportunities to Recycle Are Everywhere

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America Recycles Day is on November 15. Recycling doesn't just mean paper, glass, plastics and aluminum. As we continue to make strides in our goal to reduce waste, we've found some not-so-common items that can also be recycled.

Carpet-Over time, the carpet in our restaurants can become worn, dirty or damaged and needs to be replaced. We use carpet squares so we can easily replace specific squares instead of wasting entire rolls of carpets. Carpet squares that get replaced can actually be returned back to our carpet manufacturers to be recycled into new carpet tiles that could eventually find their way back into our restaurants.

Food-Currently, our surplus food that is not served to guests gets donated to local food banks and other non-profit organizations in our restaurants’ local communities. We are piloting a program that takes food that we cannot donate, such as meat trimmings or food scraps left on our guests’ plates, and converts it into animal feed through a high-tech process. Food waste can also be recycled into fuel or compost.

Furniture and Smallwares-Since 2010, we have been partnering with Habitat for Humanity to provide unneeded furnishings, smallwares (plates, bowls, silverware, etc.) and furniture from recently remodeled restaurants to their local ReStore retail outlets throughout the country. Habitat for Humanity ReStores then sell these items at affordable prices, and proceeds are used to build homes and communities for people in need.

Oil-We’re proud to recycle 100% of the cooking oil used in our restaurants. Oil and grease assist in energy recovery efforts because they can made into bio diesel, animal feed and soaps.

America Recycles Day is a national celebration and promotion of recycling. To get involved, visit www.americarecyclesday.org.

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