Missouri Botanical Garden Conducts 30-day Food Waste Composting Pilot in Sassafras Café

The Garden is Partnering with St. Louis Composting

In an effort to further its commitment to sustainability, the Missouri Botanical Garden has launched a 30-day food waste composting pilot in Sassafras Café, the first Certified Green Restaurant™ in Missouri. The Garden recycles nearly 100 percent of its green waste and over 75 percent of solid waste-paper, beverage containers, electronics, furniture, batteries and construction waste. The next step is to reduce food waste that goes to the landfill.

During the 30-day composting pilot, which began on Tuesday, Sept. 14, all disposables have been changed out to “compostable” disposables, bio-based cups, straws and napkins that will decompose in a commercial composting facility. Sassafras Café will operate as it always does except when staff remove lunch waste from the tables. The majority of food waste will be deposited in a tote for composting.

“Composting our food scraps along with compostable cups and napkins allows us to enlist nature’s process of decomposition to transform what was previously a landfill-bound waste product into nutrient rich soil,” said Deborah Frank, the Garden’s VP, Sustainability. “We are very hopeful this pilot will result in a long-term solution for further reducing the Garden’s waste stream.”

The Garden is partnering with St. Louis Composting on the 30-day composting pilot. St. Louis Composting is providing all compostable disposables and totes and will pick up the totes from the Café each day and bring them to its commercial composting facility.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis. Free parking is available on-site and two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.

For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577-5100 (toll-free, 1-800-642-8842).