One half-eaten sandwich and banana peel at a time, the culinary team at PepsiCo's Valhalla, New York, campus is proving that one person's trash is another one's treasure.

Led by research chef David Ehrlinger, PepsiCo has created a food-waste recycling program that converts biodegradable waste from the Culinary Innovation Center and employee café into organic soil that ends up in the yards of local residents, on the grounds of neighboring businesses—and even in the garden on the Valhalla campus.

"We initially set up the program with the Culinary Center in mind, recycling expired beverage ingredients like fruit, tea leaves, and coffee grounds,” said Ehrlinger, who supports product development for PepsiCo’s global beverage portfolio. “We quickly realized that the larger opportunity was to include waste from our Valhalla employee café, which generates a much larger bulk.”    

Here's a peek at the food waste recycling process:                                                             


This waste-and-cost-reducing recycling program, now in its second year, exemplifies PepsiCo’s efforts to deliver Performance with Purpose.

“I think part of being a chef involves not wanting to waste anything and respecting the ingredients you work with,” said Ehrlinger. “Growing up working in restaurants, I was always trying to eliminate waste—at first to save money, but today’s food-waste infrastructure creates an added bonus in protecting the environment.”

Learn more about the company’s innovative environmental sustainability efforts at: