Going Greener

. December 6, 2017.
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What makes a restaurant environmentally friendly? While the local food trend has made a big impact, becoming environmentally sustainable is still an issue restaurants are trying to tackle.

Setting standards

To help restaurants achieve better environmental sustainability, the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) has set standards that identify restaurants as Green Certified. The certification evaluates restaurants based on seven environmental categories: water efficiency; waste reduction and recycling; sustainable durable goods and building materials; sustainable food; energy; reusables and environmentally preferable disposables; and chemical and pollution reduction. Restaurants are rated with 1 star to 4 stars depending on how many points a restaurant earns for taking steps
toward “greening” their business.

Currently, only one restaurant in the area is Green Certified— M’ Osteria and Bar, in downtown Toledo— but many are working towards the goal.

While many restaurants grow their own produce and compost their scraps, the Green Restaurant Association’s certification requires other practices, like recycling glass.

While many restaurants grow their own produce and compost their scraps, the Green
Restaurant Association’s certification requires other practices, like recycling glass.

Community support

“We’re absolutely looking to do more, with the end goal of being Green Certified,” explained Gus Mancy, managing partner of Mancy’s Steakhouse, one of five Mancy’s restaurants in the
Toledo area. While most of Mancy’s restaurants recycle cardboard,
Mancy’s Steakhouse also recycles 90-100 percent of its glass while pursuing other sustainable practices.

This rate of success comes from the two-year relationship Mancy’s Steakhouse has with Bottle Breakers, a
Toledo company founded in 2012,
which recycles glass from restaurants.

Sorting it out

In a typical evening, most restaurants discard many liquor, beer, wine, and other bottles. What do they do with all that glass? We asked  are other area restaurants and bars how they handle the issue of recycling.

Bar Louie, with bar-restaurants at Franklin Park Mall and Levis Commons in Perrysburg, recycles cardboard but not glass. Real Seafood and Zia’s restaurants at the Docks, owned by Mainstreet Ventures, do not currently recycle, in part due to the layout of the restaurants and waste bins.

However, The Chop House, a new steakhouse downtown owned by Mainstreet Ventures, inked a deal with
Stevens Waste Disposal & Recycling which includes single-stream collection of all recyclables, including glass, plastic, cans and cardboard, like the residential curbside
programs: “We will be able to recycle 60 percent of our waste,” says Brent Courson, Executive Chef for Main Street Ventures, “We’re trying to lead the pack [on recycling].”

To see a list of Green Certified restaurants in Ohio and southeast Michigan, see our feature on Toledo’s recycling costs, Blue Bin Thinking, online at toledocitypaper.com

For more information on Green Restaurant Certification Standards, visit dinegreen.com