Business Environment Features Rockies

Meatball Restaurant receives Zero Waste award

Executive chef Jesse Beal from the Meatball, which received the Zero Waste Trailblazer Award.

BANFF – A Banff restaurant is being honoured for their efforts to reduce waste and compost everything possible.

The Meatball Restaurant is the latest recipient of the Zero Waste Trailblazer Awards, a recognition to Banff businesses and institutions that go above and beyond efforts to reduce, re-use and recycle.

Earlier this year, eight organizations were honoured for their efforts to move Banff towards its goal to eliminate waste going to landfill by 2050. Profiles of the businesses are available at

“The Meatball is an excellent example of a local business doing everything they can to reduce waste and see as little as possible going to the landfill,” said Carla Bitz, environmental coordinator for the Town of Banff. “It’s great to see chefs like Jesse Beal taking the initiative to implement programs that reduce waste.”

The Meatball Restaurant earns this distinction under the leadership of executive chef Jesse Beal. When Beal first began working at The Meatball, before convenient recycling programs were in place, he brought the restaurant’s recyclables to the Waste Transfer Site himself. Since then, The Meatball’s zero waste initiatives have expanded to include participation in the Town of Banff’s composting program. The restaurant has also reduced single-use items and they have a sustainable procurement program in place. By implementing a “from scratch” kitchen model, they avoid as much food waste as possible. Veggie scraps are used to make fresh broths and bones are used to make gravy. 

Zero Waste Trailblazers are selected based on 10 categories and 20 certification criteria relating to waste reduction and diversion practices, measured results, and related environmental protection initiatives.

The Town of Banff launched the Zero Waste Trail program in 2019 to help restaurants, hotels and other organizations reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. At least 65 per cent of Banff’s waste going to landfill comes from the commercial sector, and almost 50 per cent of that waste is food.