Reduce Reuse Recycle Greenpoint: Restaurants Program
|Project Lead:||North Brooklyn Neighbors, formerly Neighbors Allied for Good Growth|
|Project Partners:||Common Ground Compost; Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants; and the North Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce|
|Total GCEF Funding:||$35,222|
|2015 GCEF Grant:||$27,772||2020 GCEF Grant:||$7,500|
|Total Matching Contribution:||$3,640||2015 Matching Contribution:||$3,640|
|2015 Project Completed:||June 2017||2020 Project Completed:||July 2020|
In 2015, through a competitive process, North Brooklyn Neighbors (NBN) received a GCEF grant of $27,722 (and provided $3,640 in matching funds) to conduct a waste-reduction campaign with Greenpoint restaurants to help reduce the amount waste they send to landfills. Major project activities involved: distributing questionnaires on waste reduction practices to 15 Greenpoint restaurants; selecting six restaurants to undergo waste audits and hands-on intensive waste reduction coaching from a professional restaurant sustainability consultant; and choosing two of the restaurants – Anella and Jimmy’s* – to take part in a pilot project called “Shareware” that focused on reducing waste through the use of reusable takeout containers. In the Shareware pilot, customers received a meal in a reusable container and returned the container to the restaurant, at their convenience. Returned containers were then cleaned (according to Department of Health standards) and re-used for takeout.
The 2015 funding was also used to create a brochure and page highlighting Greenpoint-specific best practices for restaurant waste reduction.
In 2020, NBN was awarded a GCEF grant of $7,500 to purchase, print and distribute reusable bags to Greenpoint residents to help prepare them to comply with the New York State plastic bag ban, which took effect in 2020. 1,800 reusable bags were given away and 2,500 door hangers were circulated to remind residents to bring their reusable bags along on shopping trips.
For more information, visit the North Brooklyn Neighbors’ website to learn about the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Greenpoint project: NorthBrooklynNeighbors.org/project/reduce-reuse-recycle-greenpoint/, the Takeout Container Pilot program: NorthBrooklynNeighbors.org/project/reusable-takeout-container-pilot-program/; and the Reducing Single-Use Plastic project: NorthBrooklynNeighbors.org/project/reducing-single-use-plastic/
*After Jimmy’s closed during the grant project, NBN connected with Toro Ironworks Kitchen and Bar to participate in the Shareware pilot program.
Featured image by Victoria Belanger, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
- Interviewed 15 Greenpoint restaurants and selected 6 to participate in a waste audit, which found that approximately 50% of each restaurant’s current landfill waste stream was recyclable or compostable
- Collaborated with 2 Greenpoint restaurants to launch a reusable takeout container pilot program called “Shareware”
- Created a brochure and dedicated webpage for restaurants on Greenpoint-specific, best practices for waste reduction
- Hosted 2 workshops for local restaurant owners – attended by 100 participants – on the environmental impacts of restaurant waste and best practices for reducing it
- Distributed 1,800 reusable bags to Greenpoint residents and 2,500 door hangers to remind Greenpoint residents not to forget their reusable shopping bags
- Hosted several distribution events to give away reusable bags and educate Greenpoint residents about the New York State plastic bag ban
This Greenpoint pilot program could be a game changer for food takeout waste in NYC (Brokelyn, December 15, 2016)
Greenpoint Restaurants Now Offering Reusable, Returnable Takeout Containers (Brooklyn Paper, December 15, 2016)
Can Reusable Takeout Containers ‘Take the Guilt Out of Takeout’? (Bedford + Bowery, December 9, 2016)
Jimmy’s & Anella Join Reusable Takeout Container Program – And You Can, Too! (Greenpointers.com, December 7, 2016)