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Engage your workplace


Selling or serving food may not be your core business, but you may be able to make simple changes at work to reduce food waste sent to landfill.

This information is for workplaces generally. If selling food or serving food is a core part of your organisation's operations see Food businesses.

Catering for events

When organising food for work events, workshops or meetings:

  • Work closely with the supplier to order the right amount of food for the number of people attending.
  • If you have leftovers, offer them to other staff.
  • Keep a record of food ordered and food left over, so you can refer to this for future events or meetings.
  • If you regularly have left-over edible food, consider donating it to charity.

Focus on the lunch room

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.
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