How Disney Recycles Food…

Disney Trash
Credit: Disneyland Cast and Community

The Walt Disney Company often looks for ways to be greener and more beneficial for the environment. But these methods include more than standard glass, plastic, and aluminum recycling.


Credit: Disney Tips

Actually, Disney does something far more unusual.

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They Recycle Food

Yep. You read that right. Disney recycles and reuses food. All the gross half-eaten chicken tenders, stale French fries, and moldy lettuce from discarded meals all make their way back into the food chain. How? Good question…

Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich

Credit: Vegan Disney Food

According to recent reports from USA Today, three establishments at Disneyland and California Adventure have introduced new bins specifically designed for food waste. When Guests empty their food trays or plates in these specific locations, they are presented with one of three bins: trash, recycling, and food waste. Although the food scrap program has been operating discreetly for quite some time, this is now one of the first times Guests are asked to participate in the process.

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What happens to the recycled food?

Vendors transform it into animal feed.

Magic of Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

In addition, many unused meals in the California-based parks are donated to local food banks. If you have ever worked for a charity serving the homeless, you would understand the immense value of a large corporation donating truckloads of food. While there are valid criticisms of Disney on many fronts, their conservation efforts deserve recognition.


Credit: Disney

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Future Programs?

It would be great if Disney offered Guests a discount on ticket prices for making environmentally conscious decisions during their Park visit. It would save the planet and the company’s bottom line and provide some relief for Disney Guests. Although there have not been any reports of such a program in development, who knows what the future could hold?

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)