MED-3R mesures for catering waste

Catering waste in Nice:

With the declining area of agricultural lands and their overexploitation and the increase of the world population and its food requirements, food overconsumption and waste become major societal issues. Increasing awareness and implementing concrete measures, turn out to be economically, socially and environmentally crucial.

The French government has launched in June 2013, “The National Pact against food wastage” in order to reduce 50% of food waste by 2025.

Considering that 6 500 tones of bio-waste is annually produced by traditional restaurants on the territory of Nice Cote d’Azur Metropole, MED-3R has implemented a pilot project on catering waste in Nice.


Survey on bio-waste management among 300 restaurants in Nice:

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nice Cote d’Azur, partner to the MED-3R project, conducted an extensive survey of 300 pre-diagnosis among the restaurants in the city of Nice, between October 2013 and January 2014. The studied area was initially delimited by the city’s harbor, the old town, the Cours Saleya, Rene Cassin boulevard, Garibaldi square, the pedestrian zone and the sea, and has expanded to reach the neighbouring streets of the harbor and near the boulevard Carabacel.

This survey allowed the accession of 73 institutions to the process against food-waste. These acceding have received “waste prevention kits” consisting of a total of 2,500 biodegradable and microwavable doggy bags, bottle bags, and carrying bags of doggy bags, they were able to offer their customers during a three week period between January and February 2014. A questionnaire of the restaurateurs was afterward conducted between February and March 2014, in order to have their opinion on the use of this new material.


The doggy bags, a mean to fight food wastage:

Although familiar to numerous customers, the practice of food recovery remains unusual or even arousing hostility among some clients (Figure 1), which may explain why 10% of the surveyed restaurants had never offered this service for food.

Figure 1: Consumers attitude regarding the doggy bags, within the MED-3R campaign in Nice.

Recovery of unfinished wine bottles is easily accepted by customers when the recovery service is offered by the restaurant (Figure 2), considering that 62% of the surveyed restaurants had never offered this service for drinks.

Figure 2: Consumers attitude regarding the wine bottles recovery, within the MED-3R campaign in Nice.

More than 95% of consumers are responsive to fight food waste. French customers are becoming more and more adapted to the concept of the “doggy bag” already existing in many Anglo-Saxon and Asian countries. Changes in people’s attitudes and behavior need to be made for this gesture to become part of our everyday.

The “doggy bags” distributed under the MED-3R, encouraged restaurateurs as well as consumers, to become more familiar with the principle of leftovers recovery. Thus, and after this first experience, 8.5% of surveyed restaurateurs are planning to develop the practice of “doggy bags” and 47% would like to offer this service on a more regular basis. In general, 91.2% of restaurateurs are confident of the positive image reflected by their institutions regarding this supplementary service.

Awareness campaigns are to be set up so that individual initiatives can lead to a decrease of food waste, by the proposition of the restaurant or on consumer demand for “doggy bags”.

Finally, an "E-diagnosis" tool has been provided by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nice Cote d'Azur to the restaurants in Nice. This tool allows the restaurants to better manage their waste and to the territory to improve in its efforts against food wastage.

Innovative material in the management of catering waste being tested in 3 institutions within the perimeter of the Metropolis of Nice Cote d’Azur:

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nice Cote d’Azur tested innovative material under the same pilot project among restaurateurs in Nice.

Thus, a thermal waste dryer, turning leftovers to dry and fertilizing organic material has been tested at a hotel of Cap d’Ail.

A bacterial waste digester, degrading food waste through a mil and around thirty varieties of bacteria, has also been tested at the central kitchen of the University Hospital in Nice. This 50 kg capacity electrical stomach produces from 2 to 5 kg of compost per day.

A crusher of non-returnable glass bottles has been tested in a beach at the Promenade des Anglais. This device allows an 80% volume reduction of the glass generated by the institution, which decreases the passing of the refuse collection vehicles and decreases the carbon footprint by 50% on its collection.

The impact of testing these machines to reduce or foster the re-use of catering waste, has been globally positive.

Technical visits for the machines were held between March and April 2014 for the MED-3R partners involved in the topic of catering waste, in order to ensure the visibility of the project and the practice dissemination.


Provision of equipments:

Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur provides wholesalers of Saint-Jeannet’s commercial area, with a crasher of Styrofoam. This equipment lowers the volume of Styrofoam containers by 70% and optimizes the rounds of the garbage collection trucks and their carbon footprint.

Catering waste in Genoa:

In Italy, no regulations concerning catering waste are yet established, except for the awaiting validation, forthcoming management plan, in the Liguria region and the initiatives of the two municipalities of Vignola (since 2012) and Bra (since February 2014).

Within the framework of MED-3R, solving the food waste problem in Genoa is not dealt by the leftovers recovery, but by the composting system that allows decomposition of the organic matter into compound fertilizers (containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium).

In fact, the overexploitation of agricultural lands depletes the soil of its nutriments. These latter may be returned through the composting process which retransforms the organic matter and restores the balance to the soils.

In collaboration with the University of Genoa, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Genoa and the public enterprise for urban cleaning AMIU (Azienda Multiservizi e d'Igiene Urbana), the Municipality of Genoa has set up a field survey on catering waste. This survey concerned three different areas: the city center of Genoa called Porto Antico, the Pegli area and the promenade of Corso Italia (Figure 3), where 200 pre-diagnosis per area (a total of 600 pre-diagnosis) were conducted.

Figure 3: The three areas covered by the Catering waste tour in Genoa.

An awareness and communication campaign has been carried out among the restaurateurs of the three concerned areas, through demonstrations and distribution of explanatory brochures.

An Ecolabel of encouragement was provided by the Municipality, to the 60 acceding restaurants (10% of pre-diagnosed restaurants). These latter were also equipped with special containers supplied by the AMIU, for the collection of organic waste and its treatment by composting. Each acceding restaurant was supplied by 312 biodegradable and compostable bags for transporting food waste to the distributed containers, and is achieving a self-diagnosis regarding the collection and the amount of their organic waste, as well as their opinion concerning the new sorting procedure. The achievement of these self diagnosis runs between July and September 2014, and the results will be published in November 2014.

The three studied areas are characterized by a deep tourist activity generating a significant amount of organic waste. A suitable waste management to these areas may subsequently be implemented on the entire territory of the city and involve all citizens, since a 30% reduction of household waste has been fixed by the Municipality.

In addition to encouraging the restaurants to reduce the quantity of waste ending up in landfills, this step contributes also to decreasing unpleasant odors and optimizing the collection of containers in public spaces, as well as extending the competences of the AMIU into the management of organic waste.

For a stronger involvement and firmly rooted implementation attitude, national regulations and implementing provisions on the waste producer-related obligations, remain however necessary and indispensable.

Although this pilot project is a first experimentation, the initiative of the city of Genoa fits into the framework of “smart cities” aiming to develop sustainably and environmentally friendly.


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