Three Ways To Reduce Food Waste At Parties

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If you're planning to hold a large party at home, you're likely not looking forward to dealing with all of the waste afterward. In fact, it would be a good idea to arrange to have a private waste hauler come after the party and remove the bags of trash that you gather. However, you can reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, especially food waste, by adopting three simple strategies.

Compost

Much of the waste will be compostable. If you're a veteran home composter, you'll be able to separate out what can and can't go in your own compost pile, but if you don't compost things yourself, the waste hauling company may actually be able to help you with this. Some companies, if you pre-arrange it with them, can provide separate bins for guests to use for specific food waste, paper waste, recyclables, and true trash.

One thing to be aware of is that, depending on the pests in your area, some food may be inappropriate for a compost bin. For example, crackers and cookies are compostable, but they can attract rats. The waste hauling company may want guests to exclude certain foods, but the company would let you know ahead of time if that were the case.

Small Servings and Freeze Leftovers

If you're cooking the food for the party yourself, divide the food into small servings and batches. In other words, if you're going to have something like a carved ham, carve off a reasonable number of slices to put out on the table while keeping the rest in the kitchen, appropriately warmed or kept cold (depending on what you're serving). Replenish the platters as needed. Once the party's over, the food that you haven't put out can be frozen for later meals.

You don't want to put out all of the food you have immediately because of the food-safety rule about two hours: Perishable food should not be left out for more than two hours, or one hour on hot days. If you slice up all of that ham in the previous example and place it out on the table, when the party ends a couple or a few hours later, the leftover ham will not be safe to keep. By bringing out batches, you preserve the leftover ham in case no one wants it at the party.

Pre-arrange to Donate Leftovers

Sometimes leftovers can be donated to local food banks. This is an option if you're using a catering company to provide the food. When you make the catering arrangements, talk to the company then about donating leftovers. The caterers will arrange the donation with a local food bank and keep all food at safe temperatures during the party.

If you have other questions about waste control at your party, contact the waste hauling company you'll be working with, such as USA Hauling Service. The staff will be able to offer additional specific options that are appropriate for your region, the season, and the type of trash you might end up with.

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