A lunch room, break room (or similar area) in the workplace can be a simple but beneficial way of improving employee wellbeing and reducing food waste. If you are setting up a space for breaks and work lunches, or improving an existing space:
- Provide (or ask management to provide) facilities that encourage people to bring leftovers for work lunches, e.g. a microwave and basic kitchen equipment.
- Set up a system for managing the workplace fridge – this could be a shared job using a roster, or part of someone's work description. Check the fridge is kept clean and is working efficiently, and don't let it get overcrowded.
- Encourage staff to share basic supplies like milk, butter/margarine, sauces, etc.
- Provide (or ask management to provide) a bin system for the work kitchen that separates food scraps, recyclables and non-recyclables. Ask staff to separate their waste.
- Make sure the bins are emptied regularly. Check that cleaning staff and the facility manager understand your intentions and follow-through with separating waste and disposing of it appropriately.
- Take food scraps home to compost them, or, if there is sufficient volume and space, set up a compost or food waste collection system at work. If your workplace is part of an institution, office complex or industrial facility, ask the facility manager to provide a collection system for organic waste.