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Podcast: How dumpster diving and data could halve Chipotle’s waste

On Extra Serving, Chipotle’s Director of Sustainability talks about the chain’s ‘waste matrix’

On this week’s Extra Serving podcast, Caitlin Leibert, director of sustainability for Chipotle Mexican Grill, shares how the Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain cut the average waste per restaurant by 25% since 2016, a move that also saved the company $1.3 million.

With the goal of diverting 50% of its waste from landfills by 2020, Chipotle has developed a system it calls the “waste matrix,” developed in part to determine what garbage was being produced by units where landlords controlled waste management.

“If we want to own our impact, you’ve got to know your impact,” said Leibert. “For us it was about transparency. What do our restaurants produce?”

In this episode, Leibert tells NRN senior editor Lisa Jennings how the chain literally went through its dumpsters to develop a data set tied to transactions that has been dubbed the waste matrix.

And, with a better picture of how much waste is produced, Chipotle was able to “rightsize” how it handles that waste with an eye toward sending less of it to landfills.

Click here for more episodes of Extra Serving >>

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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