Sep 162007
Authors: Ricki Dugdale

In the wake of the Sustainable Living Fair hosted by New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins restaurants are taking at least some “green” steps in the direction of sustainability.

And among food deliveries in cardboard boxes, beer bottles and soda cans, there are plenty of opportunities to recycle.

“We recycle everything we can,” said Jesse Perkins, manager of the local coffee shop Alley Cat. “We have a huge cardboard box bin and get so much cardboard we can’t keep up!”

With cardboard recycling accounted for, Alley Cat figured out a way to cut down on the use of paper cups by pouring in-house coffee into mugs that don’t get discarded.

“We use a lot less paper and dishwashing is cheaper,” Perkins said. “It is a win-win situation.”

Austin’s American Grill also makes sure that their cardboard boxes, plastic wine glasses and beer bottles make it into their own designated bins.

Receiving about seven food deliveries a week, Austin’s needs a convenient way to make sure that their recyclables do not get trashed.

“We go through Waste Management and have separate bins for everything,” Manager Justin Finesilver said. “It is very convenient.”

While some restaurants have their recycling plan in order, other restaurants are doing their best to make sure that at least their cardboard makes it into the recycling bin.

“We do recycle our cardboard products,” said Dan Oustecky, manager of Cheba Hut. “But right now, we don’t recycle our aluminum.”

Cheba Hut, however, used to have bins for aluminum products but people would throw garbage in the same bin.

Due to the difficulties with the sorting process, they had to pull their aluminum recycling.

“We were hassled by the trash company because there was too much trash in the recycling bin,” Oustecky said.

Major corporations are also doing their part. Red Robin recycles newspapers, plastic and glass.

Manger Linda Colling has her employees take home newspapers as often as possible to recycle since they do not have a bin at the restaurant.

However, Colling said that there is no bin for cardboard at the restaurant so they are only able to successfully recycle their glass and plastic products.

Still, some restaurants, like Jimmy Johns Gourmet Sandwiches, do not recycle at all.

Buffalos Wild Wings, Mugs and Nico’s Catacombs are a few more restaurants that recycle at least their cardboard, and they encourage their patrons to do what they can to make sure all products are recycled.

Staff writer Ricki Dugdale can be reached at

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