This Restaurant Is Serious About Garbage—It Doesn't Produce Any

At Sandwich Me In, nothing goes to waste.
Apr 24, 2014·
Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

The average restaurant tosses eight gallons of garbage every hour. At Chicago’s Sandwich Me In, it took two years to produce that much.

Justin Vrany, the owner of the Chicago sandwich spot, says that when he decided his restaurant was going to be serious about limiting waste, “I said I’m not going to do it just half—I was going to do it all the way.”

So Vrany drags home all of the paper and glass waste from the restaurant, carefully sorting and recycling it, and the organic waste is separated into different buckets for compost. Even the dishwashing sinks are drained less frequently, he explains in this short doc from NationSwell, The Garbageless Restaurant.

As for the food itself, the restaurant sticks to its sustainability bona fides, serving local produce, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs, and other exemplary items.

There's pretty much a green solution for everything at Sandwich Me In. “That’s the only way we can let other restaurants know that this can work, that this can happen,” Vrany says.