Reducing Waste in Food Courts


Poor waste management presents more than just food waste in food courts located in mass or offices. The waste of time, money, and energy plague most of these food operations. In yet another example of how being more efficient with waste saves more than the planet, the CBC took a look at how some food courts in Canada are dealing with waste. There are easy solutions like better signage and reducing what restaurants need to hand out with every meal and there are more complex solutions like dehydrating the food waste. Of course, the best way to reduce waste in food courts is to bring your own lunch from home.

The food court at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto used to generate 120 bags of garbage a day. Now it produces just three — despite the fact that it serves noodles, fried chicken, burgers and other fast foods to 24,000 customers a day.

The good news is that far more food court waste is recyclable than you might think. Cromie and his team went through a load of garbage collected at a local food court by CBC News and found 86 per cent of the items in the “garbage” stream could actually have been recycled.

Read more.

Life After Death for American Shopping Malls

Malls have lost a lot of their popularity in consumer culture which has caused many malls to close down. This leaves huge swathes of land unoccupied in towns and cities that can be repurposed from something destructive to the environment to something that respects it.

Well, if a mall hasn’t already closed, it can consider one of the new iterations of the contemporary mall. Communities and city planners have gotten creative, using abandoned mall spaces for schools, government offices, medical clinics, casinos, wedding venues, call centers and churches. And while some malls are being torn down and housing or completely new retail buildings are being built, it is much more economically savvy (and green) to reuse the existing infrastructures.

How about an urban farm? While streams and other natural features have been brought back from being buried under concrete in some situations where malls are getting makeovers (along with adding putting greens, dog parks and other outdoor activities), a few enterprising souls have taken a look at the great natural light (many malls were built with skylights), good access to public transportation, and central locations. And thinking green.

Read the rest here.

Changing a Mall from Useless to Useful

Dead malls are a problem in too many communities and these malls are occupying large tracts of land that can be used better. Suburbs in North America have to confront the obvious change in front of them and some communities are doing a good thing by making the malls livable for people instead of just for cars.

The redesign will be in line with many new urbanism projects. There will be shops, cafes and offices connected by walkways. Storefronts will be on the first floor and residential units will occupy the top floors. There will also be a mix of cottages, multi family homes, and condos in the neighborhood as to add variety. Parking will still be present but will be hidden behind the retrofitted mall, away from the storefronts.

More info and pics here.

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