Kaffeeklatsch recognized as ‘uber-recycler’ in story about stepped up recycling efforts for businesses

The Seattle Times on Thursday

The Seattle Times on Thursday

Lake City bakery and coffee shop Kaffeeklatsch was featured in a Seattle Times article on Thursday about stepped up efforts by businesses to recycle. Members of the Seattle City Council plan to introduce legislation that will require commercial customers to add glass, aluminum, tin and plastic to the paper and cardboard they must now recycle. The article features Kaffeeklatsch co-owner Annette Heide-Jessen and says she is an “uber-recycler.” From the story:

Annette Heide-Jessen, co-owner of the Kaffeeklatsch Bakery on Lake City Way Northeast, grew up in Berlin recycling and reusing almost everything.

She’s carried that ethic to her North Seattle bakery, where the tables and chairs were reclaimed from other restaurants, the plastic glasses are compostable and customers are encouraged to stay and use ceramic cups rather than disposable hot cups that will end up in a landfill.

“It was a shock to come to a culture where everybody throws everything away,” she said.

Other neighborhood restaurants and businesses have also worked to recycle. Dick’s Drive-In has clearly labeled bins for trash, compost and recyclables. However, at the fast food joint customers rarely are seen separating out their trash, often dumping it all in one bin.

The city’s argument is that because garbage is more expensive to haul than recyclables, the businesses can save money by keeping plastic and glass out of the trash.

From the story:

At Kaffeeklatsch, Heide-Jessen is leading the way.

She made a customized poster that hangs above the garbage, composting and recycling cans with pictures of objects from the restaurant: a tea bag and a compostable plastic cup above the compost bin, a drawing of a soda bottle as well as clean paper wrappers above the recycling bin, and a shred of plastic wrap above the garbage.

She said the bakery has tried to reduce trash as much as it can and make it as easy as possible for customers to know what goes where. But customers still hesitate. A lot of recyclables and food waste get dumped in the garbage can.

Despite being an uber-recycler, Heide-Jessen is not willing to make her staff go through the garbage and pick out the wet napkins and discarded food that shouldn’t be there.

You can read the entire story here.