McDonald’s Netherlands saw the chance to reuse and recycle a large percentage of the waste coming from its restaurants.
In 1992, McDonald’s Netherlands started its own recycling system. Currently, paper and cardboard, plastics, food remains, vegetable frying oil and minor chemical waste are separated and recycled. The employees separate the waste in the restaurants, and the waste is collected every few days by the company’s own Green Trucks. The complete process is being tracked and monitored by an independent organization.
In 1992, McDonald’s was one of the first Dutch companies to practice the “reduce, reuse and recycle” waste system on a large scale. Now, the company reuses and recycles more than 98 percent of the waste the restaurants produce. For recycling paper, cardboard, plastics and frying oil, McDonald’s even earns a fee. The system is continually optimized and reflects positively on the company’s sustainability efforts. In 2009, the Dutch system was implemented in Belgium.
All of McDonald’s Netherlands’ waste is recycled or recovered. Paper and cardboard are processed into napkins and placemats. Cooking oil is used as material for biodiesel. Food waste is used to make biogas. Green electricity can be generated out of this biogas. Plastic is processed into garbage bags and roadside poles. Fuel granules are created from the remaining residual waste.