We met with the Water of Leith café, a small family run business based in Edinburgh. The café employs 6 staff plus a husband and wife team. The 40 seat restaurant uses a balance of ethics and price to source its ingredients which are all local, seasonal and organic where possible. We talked about food waste, the new legislation and advice for other owners looking to improve recycling rates.
Q: What has your experience with the food waste regulations in Scotland been like?
A: We started a food waste collection this January when the new legislation was introduced. We are generally strong on recycling so for us it was a matter of waiting until the lower threshold (5kg) became a legal requirement.
Q: Since introducing a food waste collection what has your experience been?
A: We started off very optimistic, with fortnightly collections but have recently changed to a weekly service! This was a surprise for us given our overall recycling rates. However, it has helped us look for ways to improve our internal processes and a more regular collection is generally better for hygiene.
Q: What processes do you have in place to manage food waste?
A: We have four bins for each of our different waste streams and make sure all internal bins are emptied each day. We also use lots of spare Tupperware and old ice cream pots in the kitchen to make sure we’re capturing everything!
Q: Do you have any advice for prospective small business owners and food waste recycling?
A: The most important thing my husband and I make sure we take extra care over is communication. We take time to give the staff the training they need to be using the correct systems in the kitchen. This includes obvious things like knowing which bins are used for each waste stream and also using labelling to know when food is going off.
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