Windsor

Devonshire Mall food court achieving 'zero-waste' mission

It's been about a year since Devonshire Mall started making an effort to divert food court waste from landfills to recycling sources — and the new system has made a huge difference.

'We're thrilled with those numbers' says mall general manager

It's been about a year since Devonshire Mall started making an effort to divert food court waste from landfills to recycling sources — and the new system has made a huge difference. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

It's been about a year since Devonshire Mall started making an effort to divert food court waste from landfills to recycling sources — and the new system has made a huge difference.

According to Chris Savard, Devonshire Mall's general manager, 90 per cent of the food court's waste is diverted each month. 

"We're thrilled with those numbers," said Savard. "We believe we're only one of a handful of malls in the entire country achieving that sort of diversion rate."

To achieve these results, the mall asks customers to drop off their trays at one of two stations, where staff sort paper, plastics, organics and garbage.

Food waste is composted, turned into dehydrated organic material and sent to the county for use on farmer's fields. 

"So effectively, your half-eaten hamburger today gets turned into compost tonight and by next week, it's on a farmer's field," said Savard. "So it's a pretty cool cradle-to-grave kind of story."

Devonshire Mall general manager Chris Savard, left, and operations manager Brad Shepley, right, are thrilled with the success of their zero-waste efforts. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Savard said people have been very receptive to the changes in the food court.

"I think the customers have been extremely well-receiving of the idea, they're happy to bring the waste to the sorting station, and a collaborative effort really has really got us there," said Savard.

"It's a pretty cool story to say that we're one of the few places in Canada that can achieve zero waste, especially in a food court this size." 

With files from Katerina Georgieva

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