Composting at BITE

Composting at BITE

Delaney Sondag May 21 , 2018

This year, Bite brought together over 100 vendors and more than 3,000 Baldor customers. At an event of this scale, proper sorting of each waste stream can be a challenge. Bite-sized samples of food products are often served on single use plastic plates and eaten with plastic utensils, generating large amounts of waste in the process.

To address this, Baldor’s sustainability team brought composting into the picture. We worked with the marketing team to come up with a solution that would both satisfy vendors’ needs in terms of displaying and serving their products and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Switching from plastic to compostable disposables was the answer. Supplying each vendor with a full line of compostable serve ware greatly simplified the source separation process downstream.  

We partnered with ROHO Compost, a hauling company that collected all of the organic waste that we captured. By the day’s end, we successfully filled eight 64 gallon totes, totaling to 870 pounds of organic waste diverted from landfill. Even though we weren’t able to divert 100 percent of the organic waste generated from the event, this initiative was a great opportunity for us to educate others about the importance of source separation and get people thinking about what it means to throw food and plastic in the trash.

Key Take-Aways

The first time any new initiative is implemented there are always improvements to be made. As this was Baldor’s first time composting at Bite, we wanted to share what we learned and identify ways to maximize organic waste diversion at any event.

  • Communication is key. Prior to the day of the event, notify the vendors you are working with that there will be composting and provide them with visuals of what can and cannot be composted.
  • Ensure all upstream waste is capable of being composted. This will make things easier for attendees to properly sort their waste.
  • Signage is essential. Ensuring every bin at the event is properly labeled with color coded signage makes all the difference.  
  • A designated “source separation” person at each station can go a long way. Having someone to monitor the bins and inform people prevents contamination and saves you time downstream.
  • Lastly, don’t feel defeated if you do not capture everything. At events of this scale, if you divert half of the generated waste from landfill, that is a big feat!

beet 1



View Other Articles In