Elephants Delicatessen in Portland, Oregon, is hoping to reduce waste sent to landfill by providing recycling and composting stations at its six Portland locations. The recycling and composting stations come from Pacific Cascade Corporation.
Elephants Delicatessen believes that small efforts to reduce waste, reuse and recycle can make a significant impact, benefiting community and the environment. The GreenDrop Recycling stations let users quickly self-sort recyclable and compostable items out of the waste stream. Each GreenDrop station has four individual bins. Elephants provides customers the options of composting, glass recycling, co-mingled recycling, and trash (landfill). Customers are guided by graphic instruction labels so they can sort their waste into the correct bins.
The company, founded in 1979, purchases 100% of its electricity from renewable resources. It is a pioneering member of Portland Composts! and a Metro Recycle Works participant. But while employees are fully aware of the company’s view of the importance or recycling, customers “don’t always know how to participate,” says Anne Weaver, CEO of Elephants. “For example, we use biodegradable and compostable packaging and service ware. Our utensils, bags, plates, coffee cups, and more can all be composted.” The company did not want those items going to landfill.
Elephants currently prevents over 1000 pounds of food waste and soiled paper from entering landfills each week by composting all of its kitchen waste, and hopes to “dramatically increase” those numbers with the GreenDrop stations.
The GreenDrop Recycling Station was designed through Pacific Cascade Corporation’s multi-year efforts with the Portland Trail Blazers head office and the Rose Quarter, where the Trail Blazers play. Their landfill diversion rate increased from 38% in 2007 to 90% in 2011, in part by replacing old-style garbage cans with GreenDrop Recycling Stations.
Pacific Cascade says it has hundreds of stations deployed at several sports arenas throughout the country. Elephants Delicatessen is the first strictly food service operation where it has deployed GreenDrop stations.