Thursday, June 19, 2014


We found this article published in the Spring 2014 newsletter from the Ratto Group.

These are the folks that handle all of our recycling in Sonoma County.  We should be quite proud of Screaming Mimi's and what they've accomplished...

Screamin’ Mimi’s Reduces Major Landfill Waste Through Food Scrap Composting Program

Open since 1995, local shop Screamin' Mimi's makes all of their ice cream and sorbet fresh on the premises. A few years ago, Screamin’ Mimi’s became determined to reduce the amount of waste they produced from being sent to the landfill. They looked into a lot of different options for their ice cream cups, from clear plastic to a coated wax paper, and finally a biodegradable bagasse bowl. Eventually they were able to replace all of their paper products with a compostable option with the exception of their extra large plastic straws for milkshakes and coffee travel lids.
Screamin’ Mimi’s was very proud of this accomplishment until one day they heard a speaker on the radio discussing that even biodegradable items
inthe landfillwillneverbreakdownduetothelackofoxygen,dirtand microorganisms. “At that point I realized I had done all this work and raised some of my costs to only have no impact,” says Maraline Olson, owner of Screamin’ Mimi’s. “I was so upset and then I found out about the food scrap program. I called The Ratto Group and they got me into the program ASAP.”

Within weeks they were able to reduce their trash from up to twelve 33 gallon
bags a day to one small trash bag. The rest of the waste was being put in
the food scrap containers or recycling. The entire kitchen, service area and
production area are almost 90% food scrap waste and 10% recycling. The
food scraps consist of everything from the paper towels used when washing
their hands constantly, to lemon rinds, fruit cores and broken ice cream cones.
Cardboard boxes and plastic milk containers fill up the recycling bins. The only
landfill trash comes from their public access trash bin in the dining area. The bags of trash generated from that area are often sorted to further reduce the amount of landfill trash bags.
“I have memories of our trash bags overflowing the bins and now we hardly fill one 96 gallon can,” says Maraline. “It is so very rewarding to me and my staff to see the huge reduction in landfill waste from our business. Ideally an ice cream cone can be totally earth friendly with no waste since you eat the holder. But if someone doesn't want a cone, it's good to know that that is truly the next best thing for the environment.” 

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