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Interview with local restaurant owners

Interview with small restaurant owners in Brooklyn, New York to observe and understand day-to-day practices and challenges

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Key facts about food waste issue in NYC for business

  • Only 2% of food waste from NYC businesses are recycled or reused.
  • 98% of food waste from NYC businesses not recycled are exported to landfills in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and South Carolina which cost expenses from tax payers.
  • Businesses in NYC spends more than $800 million a year, 2% of yearly sales, for waste collection and disposal.
  • Businesses in NYC generates 1 million tons a year.

Interview questionnaires to food business owners

  1. What are procedures for food waste management in your business?
  2. Do you separate regular food waste, recyclable, and reusable food waste?
  3. What are biggest concerns and barriers to food waste management in your business?
  4. Are you aware of any public programs, regulations, policies relevant to your business?
  5. How many trash bins in your business and why did you place in certain locations?
  6. What part of food waste management do you wish to improve most?

Key findings

: observation photos and diagrams created after research and observation are attached above. 

  • Streamline of waste from ingredient to landfill are extremely complicated and involved multiple stakeholders
  • Benefits to owners of small restaurant has to be clear and economically beneficial in the short-term
  • Kitchens are very busy and dynamic environment so food waste management process should be time efficient
  • Educating and training owners and employees takes time and endurance

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

1. the movie "The clean bin project" 2. food waste in urban area is difficult challenge yet it's the area need innovation for our future generation and environment. 3. Recycle: The Essential Guide by Lucy Siegle 4. Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money By Wasting Less Food by Dana Gunders

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a person of mix of different things. I worked as a management consultant in Asia. Then, I made transition to the design and studied industrial design in US.

This post emerged from:

  • An Individual

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Dongyul Oh

It's great and inspiring.