Karan K Datta, General Manager – Mall Operations, R City Mall, explains how he tackles a massive amount of food waste on-site.
How many food service outlets are currently housed at your facility?
Currently, we serve 45 food service outlets at R City. To name a few, we have restaurants like Punjab Grill, Urban Tadka, Pop Tate’s, Hitchki, Grandmama’s Café, etc., at our mall.
In terms of diversity, what is the range of food offerings?
We serve all kinds of multi cuisine veg and non-veg fare like modern Indian, North Indian, Chinese, Fast food, Pan Asian, Italian, etc.
On an average, how much food waste is generated on a weekday and on a weekend?
R City mall contributes positively to tackling the problem of food wastage. We conduct regular training on various ways to reduce food waste, recycle the oil used in cooking, and recycle the leftover food collected from the food court, hypermarket and restaurants. In addition, we conduct regular food audits to control the quality of food served. The mall generates about 500-600kg per day of food waste on a weekday while on a weekend, about 800-900kg per day of food waste is generated.
How is this food waste collected?
All brands follow standard operating procedures made by the mall for garbage segregation and they are individually responsible to take their garbage to the designated areas where all wet food garbage is kept inside the cold storage.
Where and how is it stored before disposal?
All the food waste of the mall is kept inside the cold storage and before sending for processing, it is checked if proper segregation is done.
What are the challenges of collecting and storing food waste?
In malls, it is challenging to sort the dry and wet waste collected from the food court. The waste collected is sorted before loading in the Organic Waste Converter (OWC). Our OWC has a capacity of converting 1000kg of food waste into manure at a time.
In addition, we have PET bottle recycling machines installed at various locations of the mall to encourage guests to help us reduce waste.
How is the collected food waste eventually disposed of?
Once the food garbage is accumulated at the cold storage, it is rechecked for any non-food items before going in the machine for recycling, so that it does not damage the machine.
Where is the compost used?
Post treating the food waste and converting it into manure, we distribute it free to our customers who visit our mall. Other than that, we use it for horticulture within the property and across the other sites of Runwal as well.
What is your view on ideal waste management practices at malls?
Collectively, we ought to develop a system that will ensure that all recyclable types of food waste are always recycled. Organic food waste can be composted to get nutritious manure for crops and can even serve as a soil conditioner. Also, inorganic waste like plastics and glass can be reused or recycled.