Success Story — Original Pancake House

ROSEVILLE — The Original Pancake House in Roseville initially contacted Minnesota Waste Wise looking into how they could improve recycling and cut down on their trash pick-ups. Single sort recycling, while available, was being under-utilized and a majority of what was taking up space in the trash was compostable. Following a waste assessment, Waste Wise recommended that the restaurant implement organics recycling to capture food waste and compostable material. They were also provided steps to make existing recycling efforts more user-friendly, such as color-coding bins and pairing bins.

The restaurant applied for a BizRecycling grant to set up an organics recycling program  and improve overall recycling efforts with standardized bins and labels. Along with these changes, employees were trained on the new programs and how to properly sort waste generated at the restaurant. Since making these changes, the Original Pancake House is now diverting an estimated 43,368 lbs of single stream recycling and 249,600 lbs of organics recycling from the landfill each year. “Originally our waste was getting picked up six times per week and most everything was in the trash. Now trash is picked up only once per week and we’ve seen huge savings!” Steve Pipkin, assistant general manager said.

“It took a little time for everyone to get used to it, but now everyone is dedicated and understands the program fully,” Heather Zimmerman-Fischer, store manager, said. “Everyone is super proud that we’re able to do it. The program and separating food waste is so second nature now and has spilled over into personal life [at home].”