Our question-and-answer series with members of Delaware North’s global GreenPath team continues. This week, we caught up with Eric Bandauski, the back-of-house and purchasing manager of Patina Restaurant Group’s operations in Disney Springs, Orlando, Fla.

How did you become involved in your location’s GreenPath program? I oversee all the purchasing and back-of-house operations (outside of cooking) for the Disney Springs locations, so it fit well within my scope of duties. Then I really started looking at our footprint overall.

Prior to your current role, do you have any background in environmental management? Actually, I do. Prior to coming to work for Patina over a decade ago, I was involved in a construction roll-off dumpster company and also a mobile kitchen water service company that I owned and operated.

Why are you passionate about the environment and sustainability? I am a big believer that it’s our only planet, and we have to take care of it. Being a big outdoor person, I want to protect it so I can continue to enjoy it for years to come, and recycling and sustainability are a big part of that.

What GreenPath accomplishment are you most proud of? Our food waste recycling program. I estimate that over 95 percent of our food scraps and table scrapings goes to the Disney composting facility, and 100 percent of our cardboard and plastic is recycled as well. We also have 100 percent of our cooking oil being turned into biofuel with our waste oil processing partner. We are also in the process of changing all of our disposable takeout containers to come from 100 percent recycled paper.

Do you have any simple tips that other locations and associates could adapt to become more GreenPath-friendly? Start small; it’s the little things that can add up. We started with two food waste garbage cans per day; now we are up to six or eight on a weekend. I didn’t think that the food waste would amount to a lot, but once we started really implementing it — with the amount of covers we do a day and how much we were putting into the compost programs — I estimate we are keeping over 1,000 pounds per day out of landfills.

What are your GreenPath goals for the next year? As we bring more units online in Disney, I want to continue to implement as much recycled or sustainable materials as possible, especially with takeout dishes. We are also looking at other ways to cut down on our footprint besides the continuation of the 100 percent cardboard recycling and oil programs as well.


Published June 23, 2017