Tuesday, February 6, 2007

idea - returnable take out bins

Thanks to the ontario's governments great new idea/plan to return various liquor bottles to the beer store, i've come up with another idea.

The amount of garbage i create has gone down considerably since i've got a compost.  The most massive thing that gets added to my garbage these days is take out bins, styrophoam, and i guess the tops of the metal ones.  What if various environ-concious restaurants (ie green door, table) joined a program where their take outs were actually decent plastic/pyrex/ceramic containers with good tops (microwavable of course) and charged a deposit for them, say, 5$.  Each of the bins/containers would have some sore of id/barcode/something on the bottom so as to discourage falsifying them for the 5$.  Any store that took part could have the (dirty) containers returned to them.

I'm thinking a place like the yangtzee could cut down massively on landfill if they did this.  Think about the amount of landfill they take up in a night for their hot and sour soup take outs?  I must take up a cubic metre a year just on those styrophoam things...  i'd gladly pay a 5$ deposit for each thingy, could exchange them with the delivery guy after the first purchase, etc..

Well?  Would it fly??  Been done?


  1. That's a darn good idea. Ideally delivery drivers could take empties and discount your order accordingly.

    Only problem I can think of is cleaning. If people neglected the dishes with nasty food for too long getting them clean again might be impossible. Or at least expensive.

    Oh, also, if the deposit is less then the cost of a nice useful dish, people might just keep them and cause the system to chronically leak money. On the other hand, glass bakeware is probably crazy cheap in bulk, $5 would probably be enough to cover it.

  2. Another idea would be to bring your own reusable containers when you know you are getting take-out or will have leftovers from your meal.

    This would take no initiative from the restaurant and would save them money on containers. The trick would be bringing the correct size.