Carried out by waste management service provider,, the research finds that restaurants, bars and night clubs are the “worst in the industrial and service sectors” for recycling their waste.

The firm researched and vetted 500 businesses across the UK to establish how these they are dealing with their waste and found that at least 30% of restaurant waste is “incorrectly sorted”.

It also estimates that due to “unprofessional” local waste management firms “who don’t offer any advice or care about waste going to landfill” this figure could be as high as 50%. says staff often fail to separate their rubbish at all, meaning that some businesses only manage to recycle about a third of their waste.

As customers become more aware of environmental issues and demand that companies prove that they can act “green”, sloppy attitudes towards their waste could end up losing them money, the company says.

“It’s no real mystery why this sector is the worst at recycling,” said commercial director Mark Hall. “A drive for lower staff costs means that corners are often cut, and that means pubs, clubs and restaurants tend to send the majority of their refuse for general waste.”

“Day in, day out our operators see bins full of unsorted rubbish from food and drink establishments that could quite easily be recycled. Instead it’s heading for landfill,” he added.

Last week, research from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) found that food waste is one of the top issues diners want restaurants to focus on.

Based on the findings of consumer research, the new report, The Discerning Diner: How consumers’ attitudes to eating out have become more sophisticated, reveals that diners want to know more about how restaurants operate and more than half will pay more for a meal in a restaurant that is run sustainably.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie