DC Central Kitchen

Affordable Sustainability for Social Enterprise

DC Central Kitchen is dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty in unique and innovative ways. A nationally recognized “community kitchen” that recycles food across Washington, D.C., DC Central Kitchen leverages its kitchens to develop the work skills of unemployed adults while providing thousands of meals for local service agencies in the process. They specialize in creating opportunity, with a side order of decreasing their waste footprint.

Always in the market for ways to be more sustainable, DC Central Kitchen jumped at the chance to find a better way to dispose of the personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by their staff and volunteers. Enter Green Circle Solutions, whose mission it is to make it easy to recycle plastic and PPE waste and help its customers share their impact with the world.

The Challenge

In 2023, DC Central Kitchen packed up its shelter basement headquarters for a new 36,000-square-foot hub and headquarters. This move would mean more volunteers and kitchen workers onsite at any given time, which in turn meant more personalized protective equipment (PPE) to dispose of.

As a nonprofit, DC Central Kitchen had the desire to make an impact, but didn’t have a large budget. Without an accessible option, the hairnets, aprons, masks, and more used by DC Central Kitchen volunteers and staff would become a part of the estimated 1.6 million tons of PPE waste1 generated every day worldwide.

The Answer
What better time to start saving the planet than Earth Month? After moving into its new home, DC Central Kitchen heard about Green Circle Solutions’ affordable approach, DC Central Kitchen launched its PPE Recovery Initiative in March 2023, just in time for Earth Month, a celebration of our planet and a great moment to take action to protect it. The PPE Recovery Initiative is dedicated to 100% PPE recovery, a goal made achievable by their integrated partnership with Green Circle Solutions.

The Impact
In addition to feeding thousands of DC residents each day, DC Central Kitchen is also helping to save the planet by partnering with Green Circle Solutions. Instead of ending up in a landfill, the difficult to recycle plastics and PPE is recycled and repurposed, leading to a decrease in carbon emissions and a more sustainable world.

“DC Central Kitchen is so happy to partner with Green Circle. We use tons of hairnet, gloves and aprons in our volunteer program and with our kitchen staff to prepare thousands of meals a day. We used to just throw those items away, so we love that we can now recycle those items and keep them out of the landfill. It contributes to our goal of minimizing waste at our facility! “ — Amy Bachman, Director of Procurement & Sustainability at DC Central Kitchen

The Advantage
We believe saving the planet is everyone’s business, which is why we make our services accessible and affordable. Make a big impact without breaking the bank. Find out more about the Green Circle Solutions advantage.

Read More
Learn how Hamilton Health Sciences used Green Circle Solutions to create Outside-the-Box Solutions for Large-Scale Impact.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7896824/# ↩︎