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Donatelli’s Restaurant is a local, old-fashioned Italian restaurant that features fresh-made pasta. The restaurant opened in 1976, and has grown to support a staff of 50. Donatelli’s gained some serious recognition when it was featured on The Food Network’s show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”


Donatelli’s Restaurant was no stranger to waste and recycling systems. They recently participated in a detailed study on restaurant waste conducted by the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program and had plenty of information on recycling. Composting programs, on the other hand, were an unknown.

The restaurant wanted to find a better solution for managing their waste, and especially their food waste. They needed help, so they reached out to BizRecycling’s Recycling Experts.

How We Helped

The Recycling Experts met with Donatelli’s general manager, Trish Appleby, and presented the business with a couple of options for commercial composting. They also reviewed Donatelli’s existing waste and recycling contracts.

Appleby was content with the restaurant’s existing trash and recycling service. They decided to add a commercial composting service to manage their organic waste, which includes paper towels as well as food waste.


With their organics recycling program in place, Donatelli’s is diverting more than 78,000 pounds of compostable materials each year. They were able to decrease their trash pick-up frequency from twice a week to once a week, saving the business about $1200 a year.

Donatelli’s is happy with their new composting program and the results. “We’re really pleased,” said Appleby. “It’s easy, especially for a restaurant. With food waste and restroom waste, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Once you work it into your process, it’s simple.”

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