As regional regulations roll out, waste audits can help companies with multiple locations determine proper disposal of problematic materials to avoid violations.
Solid waste management is a fragmented niche, with services, waste streams and regulations varying from region to region. These dynamics can especially challenge multilocation businesses working to develop consistent systems to cut and prevent waste.
With more than 2,000 locations, Panda Express can vouch for how daunting the task can be, and it’s one reason the fast-food restaurant chain invests in waste audits. Procuring, negotiating and managing multiple waste agreements wasn’t easy. And with a large presence in states that are cracking down hard on food waste, it has become harder for the chain.
“Waste audits give you a literal deep dive into your trash. From there, you can collect data on what kinds of materials are making their way in the garbage, the volume, etc.,” says Roger Goldstein, executive director of facilities and energy for Panda Restaurant Group. “Knowing this allows you to make operational decisions, such as ways to work with product supply vendors on how product is packaged. You can provide training to your employees in areas where you need to increase diversion. And you can avoid risk and ensure compliance.”