Foodservice Equipment Reports

California Restaurants Address Stormwater Pollution

It’s a clean slate for hundreds of restaurants which have been certified, or re-certified, under the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission’s Clean Bay Restaurant Certification Program.

Stormwater runoff is a major source of coastal pollution in southern California. Restaurants produce large amounts of waste, which when handled improperly, can enter the storm drain system and pollute rivers and ocean. According to the commission, 30 billion gallons of stormwater and urban runoff are discharged annually into the Bay; foodservice operations are responsible for a large percentage of it. The Clean Restaurant Program focuses educational efforts on clean restaurant practices and environmentally responsible choices.

About a dozen criteria are covered on the checklist standards for certified Clean Bay restaurants, including: a full-scale recycling program; proper diversion of storm water runoff; exterior dry sweeping; strict grease-maintenance records; and adherence to additional city restrictions such as bans on Styrofoam or plastic bags.

About 460 restaurants in Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, and Redondo Beach, as well as Malibu and Torrance, are certified in the voluntary program.

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