Brew anew

In an attempt to divert from the landfill 90 percent of its waste, Great Basin Brewing Company is trying to either compost or recycle the waste it creates. Its compostable materials are being picked up by Castaway Trash Hauling and taken to RT Donovan. Its recyclables are taken to the Salvation Army or recycling centers. Castaway has already been collecting compostable materials from places like Scolari’s, Sak ’n Save and Walmart, but the brewery, which operates locations in Sparks and South Reno, is its first restaurant customer. Great Basin also sends its spent grain to feed cattle in Fernley and Doyle, Calif.

Other local food businesses have been composting or recycling their waste in less formal ways. Scraps from Dish Café and spent grain from Buckbean Brewing Company, for example, have been spotted providing nourishment to local pigs and worm composting operations.

According to the Green Restaurant Association, 24 percent of a restaurant’s waste stream is made of organic (natural, though not necessarily certified organic in this case), non-contaminated edibles. Raising that percentage are biodegradable, compostable products, like soiled paper, cardboard and dead flowers and plants.