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Seeking to strengthen their bottom lines, increase the value of their business and minimize their impact on the environment, more restaurateurs are seeking out and incorporating sustainable practices into their food service operations.

From state and local energy and agricultural policies, to food waste and packaging restrictions, it is important for restaurant operators to understand the issues that impact the profitability of their business.

RAMW works with a number of businesses which can help you better understand these issues, help you build sustainability into your existing operations and provide food waste management solutions.

DC Green Financial Incentives

October 20, 2013
The Sustainable DC Plan is the District’s first sustainability plan that lays out a path forward to make the District the healthiest, greenest, most livable city in the nation over the next 20 years. In the summer of 2011, Mayor Gray announced a new initiative to make DC a leader in sustainability, while improving quality of life and creating new economic growth for all residents. Nearly 18 months later, with the collaboration and hard work of residents, workers, business leaders and professional experts, the District has a strategy to address our core urban challenges with innovative,...

Washington Gas Rebates Give Virginia Restaurants a Break

October 17, 2013
Every restaurant could use a break. Cook one up for your restaurant in the form of a Washington Gas rebate. The Washington Gas Energy Efficiency Program is offering restaurants in Virginia substantial rebates on select natural gas products. Products include ovens, steam cookers, water heaters, programmable thermostats, infrared heaters and more. These rebates are only available for a limited time. Product installations must be performed by a licensed contractor before April 30, 2014. A full list of eligible products, corresponding rebates and more details are available at WashingtonGasRebates...

DC Proposes Ban on Styrofoam Food Containers

October 10, 2013
Michael Neibauer , Washington Business Journal Mayor Vincent Gray has proposed banning foam food containers in the District, citing their harmful effect on the Anacostia River. The measure is part of a package of bills Gray recently submitted to the D.C. Council as part of his effort to “make the District of Columbia the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States,” the mayor wrote in a letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. The legislation bans “expanded polystyrene” in food containers, plates, clamshells, hot and cold beverage cups, meat...

Application Period Now Open for 2014 Mayor's Sustainability Award

October 9, 2013 to March 14, 2014
The Mayor's 2014 Sustainability Awards will recognize outstanding individuals, businesses, schools, institutions, and organizations for their environmental leadership and contributions to the Mayor's vision that the District become the greenest, healthiest, and most livable city in the nation. To apply, please read, complete, and return the application instructions and cover sheet below. Application deadline is Friday, March 14, 2014 . Application Instructions...

How Do Electricity Costs Impact Your Budget?

October 1, 2013
Business owners can reduce operating costs by evaluating energy expenses. A new report, Best Practices: Electricity Procurement , discusses the major impact that electricity costs have on middle-market operating budgets. View the report for information and best practices regarding how to select the right electricity supplier, what to consider before signing a contract, and which hidden items impact your final electricity bill. You can also benchmark your energy usage and costs, and become better equipped to make smart energy-related decisions. View the report .

Exemptions Proposed to Montgomery County's Bag Tax

June 30, 2013
Michelle Basch, WTOP Nearly a year and a half after Montgomery County's 5-cent bag tax took effect, a public hearing was held Tuesday night to consider possible tweaks. A bill being considered by the Montgomery County Council would scale back the tax so it only applies to food stores. A food store would be defined as any retail store where food makes up more than 2 percent of gross sales by dollar value. The bill would make takeout food bags exempt from the tax. Read more:

Follow the Rules: What does "Recycled" Mean to You? New Guide Requires Precision

February 28, 2013
Scott Attman, Acme Paper & Supply Co. for Franchise Times Now that the Federal Trade Commission’s new Green Guides are in effect, restaurant industry and other franchisors can expect big changes in several elements of their business. For starters, marketers who pitch products as environmentally friendly have to back up their claims or face fines. If the FTC finds product marketing misleading, it will begin filing suits against the companies in question, just as it does for health claims made by food manufacturers. Precise verbiage in product descriptions will be important, but there...

Bag Tax FAQs

January 1, 2010
BAG TAX FAQs Q. When do I have to start charging $.05 for bags? A. You should be charging for bags NOW…and starting January 1, 2010. Q. Do I have to charge for all carry out bags? A. If you have a restaurant business license (e.g. not a deli or grocery license) and you provide seating you are exempt from charging for paper bags ONLY. You must charge for any other type of disposable carry out bag, other than a Wine Doggie Bag. Q. With all the talk about paper and plastic, what about biodegradable and compostable bags that are neither paper nor plastic? A. Under the definitions of the...Read more

DC Bag Bill Update

December 31, 2009
DC Bag Bill Update On Tuesday, December 15th, Councilmember Wells moved emergency legislation (which passed unanimously) to provide extra time for businesses to meet the requirements of Section 3 of the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009. Specifically, Councilmember Wells had heard from some businesses with concerns that they will not have enough time to use previously purchased and existing stock of plastic and paper bags that may not be compliant with the new law. While the Council’s action clearly moves the District progressively to reduce the harmful impact of...Read more

Waste Hauling (Arlington County, VA)

October 15, 2009
FormerRAMW Public Policy Advisor Patrick Horn testifies in front of theVirginia General Assembly's Committee on Local Government, outlining the problems for restaurants stemming from Arlington’s proposal to franchise waste hauling services. Date: Feb 2005. Issue Status : The problematic 2005 proposal was eventually vetoed by Governor Tim Kaine. PDF File...Read more