Dan Simons Talks Trash & Recycling with Montgomery County Businesses

Co-Owner Dan Simons spoke to business leaders and employees at a recycling seminar in Bethesda, MD hosted by the Smart Organizations Reduce and Recycle Tons Program (SORRT) and Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection Division of Solid Waste Services.

Simons discussed some of the ways we are reducing the waste stream coming from our restaurants. Our in-house recycling and composting programs keep 90% of waste out of landfills. We also filter our own water on site (saying no to disposable water bottles), use paper straws, and donate our used grease so it can be recycled into biofuel.

At our Founding Farmers in King of Prussia, PA (just outside of Philadelphia), we have invested in a BioHiTech eco-safe digester, or “The Pig,” as we affectionately call it. This sustainable food waste disposal solution uses an aerobic digestion technology with a proprietary blend of microorganisms that naturally breaks down food waste into liquid form. Once food waste is completely broken down, which happens pretty quickly, it is safely discharged as wastewater through any standard sewer line. Our Pig helps us greatly reduce the amount of our food waste going into landfills.

Farmers Restaurant Group has been a sustainably-minded business since the day we opened our doors, driven in part by our farmer owners. We care about the future of the planet, and we recognize the importance of preserving the land for future generations. The Green Restaurant Association reviews our restaurants every two years to ensure we are meeting our trash, recycling, and energy-use goals, and we also LEED certify all of our restaurants.

Simons was one of several other business leaders and government officials invited to share waste and recycling practices and ideas. Montgomery County has a goal to reduce waste and recycle 70 percent of all waste generated by 2020. SORRT provides training and technical assistance to businesses to help them reduce waste, reuse materials, and maximize their recycling efforts.