How pubs, bars and restaurants can improve glass recycling during the festive season

The Importance of Responsible Glass Disposal

As the festive season approaches, the merry sound of clinking glasses will fill pubs, bars and restaurants across the country, signalling a time of celebration and increased socialising. However, with this surge in customers comes a notable increase in the volume of glass waste generated, anything from small mixer bottles to wine and Prosecco glass bottles; no doubt some damaged drinking glasses will also find their way into the glass waste too. The hospitality industry faces some unique challenges during this busy period, such as longer hours, seasonal workers, and busier weekdays. 


These pressures can often mean managers may have less time to do the office administration and deal with suppliers. When it comes to waste collection, the festive season definitely puts additional pressure on managers to ensure that waste isn't left lying around, and to consider whether the frequency of collections needs to increase to cope with the additional volume of waste produced.

That means now is the perfect time to put a solid plan in place to deal with an inevitable rise in discarded glass bottles and other business waste.

In this blog, we'll highlight the importance of responsible glass disposal – when recycling or disposing of glass to minimise environmental impact and safety risks by using a registered waste management provider, during the Christmas season. We’ll also explain how Hills Waste Solutions can help you manage your seasonal waste more effectively. 


The challenges of festive waste management

According to a recent festive hospitality report, 80% of restaurants agree that the festive season is busier than usual. Throughout the festive season, pubs and bars experience a significant increase in customers, resulting in increased hospitality waste for food and drink waste. When the festivities are in full swing empty wine and champagne bottles will be plentiful, as well as the empty beer and mixer bottles. There will also be increased volumes of food scraps from Christmas dinner parties, as well as empty aluminium drink cans. And when accidents happen and the odd glass gets dropped then safe disposal of the glass is important, for both staff and your customers.


During the festive season, pubs and bars experience increased waste generation, particularly food and glass, leading to bins filling up faster than normal. To meet this demand, the hospitality industry needs efficient and responsive collection services that can adapt to sudden needs, ensuring timely and convenient pickups whilst maintaining excellent customer service.


Proactive waste management planning can yield significant benefits for food and beverage managers. By anticipating your waste needs, you can optimise collections, reduce operational costs, and minimise disruptions for both customers and staff. This forethought ensures timely pickups, lower additional costs, and can help to alleviate any unnecessary stress associated with last-minute waste disposal challenges.


Making glass waste management more efficient

Did you know that in the UK, bars, restaurants, and pubs dispose of over 200,000 tonnes of glass into landfills annually? That’s a mind-blowing figure, especially considering that glass is 100% recyclable and what’s more, it’s capable of being recycled indefinitely.


So how can you avoid collection issues related to glass waste during the busiest period of the year? Make sure you review your current waste provider well in advance and that you are confident they will serve you well during what may be the busiest period of your year.

And if you’re not confident of your supplier, now might be a good time to review your arrangement and find an alternate supplier who can better meet your service and cost needs to avoid unnecessary overweight charges being applied.


Ensuring your collections are planned for your busy period means you have less risk of overflowing bins, which is also important from a health and safety perspective for staff and customers.


Pubs and bars and restaurants can manage glass waste more effectively by:

  • Ensuring that glass is safely separated from other waste and placed in designated glass waste storage provided by your waste management supplier - this is crucial to efficient recycling.
  • Glass waste storage should be strategically placed throughout the kitchen, as well as areas used for dish collection and washing.
  • All staff should be trained in waste sorting and disposal procedures to minimise contamination.
  • Customers can also be reminded through signage to dispose of glass waste responsibly in designated glass waste storage, especially in outside seating areas.
  • Collaborating with Hills who are a trusted recycling waste management company ensures that glass waste is collected and recycled responsibly.

Seasonal sustainability

Glass recycling plays a significant role in helping pubs and bars to reduce their environmental impact. Adopting responsible waste management initiatives aligns with sustainability goals, which are a long-term commitment. Initiatives like the Green Pub Guide showcase venues' green credentials and highlight their dedication to sustainability.


Other seasonal waste

While this guide primarily focuses on glass waste, it's important to acknowledge the other types of waste that the hospitality sector usually generates during the festive season. Pubs and bars serving food during the festive season can face the responsibility of managing significant increases in the amount of food waste, and it's crucial to handle it correctly. The Christmas trade significantly increases the volume of all sorts of waste, including unconsumed or partly consumed vegetables, dairy products, meat, liquids, and packaged goods containing food. It’s important to have proper containers such as compostable bins, food waste caddies, and glass recycling bins to manage this waste effectively.

Statistics reveal that a staggering 1 in 6 meals in the hospitality and catering industry go to waste. Planning food preparation in advance, offering smaller portions, allowing customers to take food home, and donating excess food to charities can significantly minimise this wastage.

At Hills Waste, we are proud to help venues manage food waste more effectively. Our services include the separate collection and disposal of food waste, ensuring it is diverted from landfills. We offer tailored solutions, utilising specialised bins and containers designed for food waste, facilitating the recycling process. By putting a strategy in place, you can reduce the environmental impact and also align your waste management practices with your sustainability goals, reinforcing the commitment of the hospitality sector to responsible waste management during the festive season and throughout the year. Visit our food and drink industry page to get started on your strategy today.


Working with Hills Waste for your festive solutions

Efficient waste management is crucial for maintaining a safe, clean and organised venue while adhering to all relevant legislation. The UK Waste Regulation 2015 (Separate Collections TEEP) states that recyclable materials, such as glass, must be handled separately from general waste and kept free from contamination. Compliance with these regulations is essential for businesses in the hospitality sector. Visit our Waste Management Legislation page for more helpful information and resources to help you meet your legal responsibilities.

Hills Waste is proud to be a valuable partner to pub and bar managers all year round but particularly during the festive season. We offer tailored waste management solutions that address the specific challenges of the hospitality industry. Our services include providing the appropriate waste containers, timely and flexible collections to accommodate seasonal demands, and reporting and guidance to help you meet your sustainability goals - and you can achieve all this while still saving on waste management costs!

As you can see, having a responsible glass disposal and commercial waste management strategy in place is not only a good idea, it’s pretty much essential for pubs, restaurants and bars, particularly during the festive season. Hills Waste is here to assist you in navigating the typical challenges of the season, ensuring that your hospitality waste is managed efficiently and sustainably. If you are a food and beverage manager, we invite you to collaborate with us in managing your business waste responsibly. Contact us today to find out how we can support your business during this busy and important season.



If you would like to find out more about how Hills can support you with your waste management, call our helpful Customer Support Team on 0808 145 4533.