FERN [Food Establishments Recycling Nutrients]

FERN serves as the linkage between food establishments and waste treatment locations, and provides logistics to transport waste to these facilities. Food establishments generate a high percentage of organic waste and recyclable materials, and FERN helps to reduce the amount of reusable waste destined for landfills. Consistent pickups are scheduled at each location, and are carried out by FERN or a facilitating partner.

FEDM [Food Establishments Donating Meals]

Food waste isn’t always trash, and when possible, FERN wants to donate edible meals to those in need.

While meal preparation scraps like vegetable peelings, and dining room leftovers like plate scrapings are destined for the garbage bin either way, it is all too often that good, edible, healthy food gets thrown away because there is simply no where else to put it. Restaurants cannot hang on to additional meals or prepared foods, and banquets and catered events are not equipped to store or save food.

Tailored Services

Initial Audit:

FERN analyzes food establishments, gathering information on employment activity, waste composition, food preparation, and disposal procedures.

Staff Training:

FERN provides a detailed manual to participating establishments, and follows with on-site training of all staff members. The content and duration of training programs will depend on staff size and operations in each establishment. Staff learns which materials are acceptable for FERN’s “Organic” and “Recycling” waste categories.


FERN will revisit establishments after the initial training session(s) to provide additional clarification, and to ensure that sorting procedures are being carried out successfully.


FERN provides reusable plastic bins for the daily storage of waste, and FERN replaces them with clean bins during daily collection.


Pickups occur on a consistent schedule, one or two times per day depending on the capacity of the restaurant and upon the amount generated per day.

Drop off to Treatment Locations:

Organic waste is transported nightly to a Cedar Environmental plant where it is composted into organic-grade fertilizer. Recyclable materials are distributed throughout the local informal market, supporting other small businesses.

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