Local Restaurant Participating in New Project to Manage, Recycle Waste

Takoma Beverage Company in Takoma Park is participating in a pilot program designed to ensure that waste from used food service containers is managed and recycled.

The project, Paradigm One, is a local start-up concept of The Paradigm Project, according to John Hansen, the founder and CEO.

Hansen, a veteran of the clean energy, sustainability, climate and circular economy space since 2004, began developing the concept in September 2019.

“When participants order from the restaurant, they receive their food in specially designed containers,” Hansen wrote in an email exchange with the Source. “Once customers receive their order, they simply scan the QR code on the containers, enjoy their meal, and then return the containers, at their convenience, to the touch-free kiosk located across the street from the restaurant [on Laurel Avenue].”

The company will then collect the containers, which they own and provide as a service, inspect, wash, and sterilize them at a commercial sanitation facility, then put them back into use.

Once the containers have reached the end of their useful life, the company will shred them either in house or using local partners to turn them into new products, Hansen wrote.

“This is how we’ll guarantee our product will be properly recycled,” he continued. “We are also looking at third-party verification for when we get to that stage.”

“Our business model uses what’s known as ‘extended producer responsibility,’” Hansen added. “This is not only socially responsible but also the most efficient use of durable material assets like plastic.”

The current pilot will run through mid-October. Other companies that are interested in participating in a pilot can sign up online to receive more information.

Photo of the Paradigm pilot kiosk courtesy John Hansen

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