With Biodegradable Products and a Push for Zero Food Service Waste, Moscone Center Shows Industry How to Put Environment First
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced efforts by the Moscone Center, one of the busiest convention, trade and meeting facilities in the nation, to produce zero waste food and beverage events and lead the industry in environmentally friendly practices.
SMG, the company that partners with the City and County of San Francisco to run the Moscone Center, said it replaced all disposable food and beverage products with biodegradable items.
“The Moscone Center has been a trailblazer in instituting green programs for many years,” Mayor Newsom said, “but we’ve really stepped things up.
“First we installed the largest public solar-generating project in the nation on the roof of the Moscone Center. We have the most aggressive diversion program of any convention center in the country. Given the enormous amount of waste generated by the typical convention or large exhibitions, what the Moscone Center is doing represents a huge part of San Francisco’s efforts to lead the green city revolution,” Newsom said.
SMG has spent the past decade developing a comprehensive recycling program on the exhibit hall floor and is now implementing a sustainable catering practices program focusing on:
• Purchasing: Savor… Catering by SMG is purchasing products from local vendors and producers. Its bakery vendors are required to pick up their empty boxes for re-use or recycling. SMG also purchases organic produce and uses hormone-free dairy, meat and poultry, whenever possible.
• Disposable Wares: Savor… Catering by SMG is launching a program using only compostable containers made of cornstarch at Moscone’s food service locations as well as for major catering events.
• Food Product Disposal: Savor … Catering by SMG donates a large portion of the Moscone’s unused food to community services such as Food Runners and Glide Memorial Church. All of Moscone’s kitchen-generated food waste is separated for composting. Any kitchen-generated waste, such as bottles and cans, is separated for recycling. Food waste generated from seated events is separated for composting.
• Cleaning: Savor… Catering by SMG uses Ecolab’s “Geosystem” dishwashing detergents in all Moscone Center dishwashers.
“With SMG’s leadership, the Moscone Center will move to a 100-percent biodegradable food service operation by the end of 2007,” said John Noguchi, Director of Convention Facilities for the City and County of San Francisco.
SMG and the City announced their goal of having two major events this year that would help strive for a zero-waste goal and announce to the world how sustainable practices can impact the convention industry:
1) At VM World in September, the Moscone Center diverted about 40,000 box lunch containers from landfill.
2) At Oracle OpenWorld in November, Moscone Center will divert about 60,000 box lunch containers from landfill.
“We changed all of our disposable wares to biodegradable products,” said Murat Eskicioglu, General Manager of Savor…Catering by SMG.
“We are actually driving this growth sector in the catering industry by working closely with many
producers of biodegradable wares to increase their production and make the products available to everyone throughout the industry,” Eskicioglu said.
“Moscone’s goal is to produce zero-waste catering events, exclusively, by only using compostable plates, beverage containers and cutlery, and by doing such a great job on sorting the materials,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Director of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment.
“This is extremely significant, given the size of convention business as a consumer and the potential for leading sweeping changes throughout the industry,” Blumenfeld said.
See Related: GLOBAL WARMING
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