Recycling in the kitchen: bringing a stale biscuit back to life

Last Saturday, I brought home a biscuit that had been part of my breakfast at a local Bob Evans restaurant. (The kitchen’s only going to throw it away — why let it go to waste?)

Today I decided to eat it along with the bowl of soup I was having for lunch. I took it out of the refrigerator and tried to break it in half, and found that I’d need a hammer and chisel to get inside it. I considered just dunking it into the soup, like coffee and donuts, but the soup was quite thick, and the biscuit probably wouldn’t absorb enough liquid to make it soft.


A little moisture softens a stale biscuit. (Photo credit: Lou Sander)

I tried wrapping it in a napkin and microwaving it for a few seconds, on the theory that the shortening in the biscuit would soften, but it was still rock-hard. So I moistened it with a little water, just with my fingertips, lightly, on the top and bottom, rewrapped it, and nuked it again for ten seconds.

Success! It hadn’t returned to its original wonderful fall-apart flaky state, but it was as tender as any biscuit I’d pull out of my own oven (I make hockey pucks), and it broke nicely into smaller pieces that went into the soup.

I know this isn’t a Big Thing — one biscuit, more or less, isn’t going to solve the world’s food waste problem. But I ended up with a delicious accompaniment to my lunch, the biscuit didn’t end up in the disposal, and I don’t have to feel guilty about wasting food.

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Community Shred Days in Cuyahoga County

Residents of Cuyahoga County can take advantage of one or more Community Shred Days offered by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District and many Cuyahoga County communities. During the Community Shred Days, residents may bring documents to a designated site for shredding and secure disposal.

Shredding services are provided by All Ohio Secure Shred, which shreds the documents on-site and recycles all shredded documents.

A calendar listing communities with their shred locations, dates, times and contact information is posted on the All Ohio Secure Shred website. Many communities place limits on the quantity of documents they’ll accept and limit the service to community residents: check your community’s website or contact the community representative listed on the calendar for more information.

In addition, the City of Cleveland Division of Waste Collection provides free document shredding for Cleveland residents Mondays through Fridays year-round at 5600 Carnegie Avenue, and offers free mobile shredding services at community events. For more information about City of Cleveland shredding services, download the flyer (click on the word “more” under “City Offers FREE Document Shredding Year-Round!”) from the City of Cleveland website.

Paper Shredding

Protect your identity: shred your documents and keep them out of the landfill.

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Free Cuyahoga County Workplace Recycling/Waste Contracting Workshops

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District will again present its popular workshops, “Waste and Recycling $ense for Your Business,” in 2013:

Recycle Logo

Learn how to use recycling to improve the environment and help your bottom line: it makes $ense.

  • Thursday, June 27
  • Friday, September 27
  • Friday, November 1

What the workshops cover

In these half-day workshops, businesses and non-profits can learn how to start or improve a workplace recycling program and how to contract for waste hauling or recycling. The staff of the Solid Waste District walks participants through the steps to launch or expand a successful workplace waste reduction and recycling program. The workshops cover:

  • Starting a recycling program or improving an existing program
  • Recognizing different recyclable commodities
  • Commercial composting
  • Waste sorting (aka “dumpster diving”) and analysis
  • Choosing proper indoor recycling containers and selecting appropriate signage
  • Making the recycling program sustainable
  • Educating employees, students and visitors on the program
  • Choosing a waste hauling and recycling company
  • Terms and conditions of waste and recycling service contracts
  • Types of contracts, fees, and how to structure an agreement to best suit a business

Who should attend

Any business with an interest in effective management of waste and recycling can benefit from these workshops. Last year’s attendees — large employers, small businesses, startups — included:

  • Public venues
  • Hotel chains
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Universities and schools
  • National parks
  • Places of worship
  • Non-profits
  • Local government
  • Property management and real estate development firms
  • Hospitals

Curious about how the workshops might help your organization? Check out the feedback from last year’s participants (click here and scroll down to “What are attendees saying about the program?”).

Where and when the workshops are held

The workshops are held at the Solid Waste District offices at 4750 East 131 Street in Garfield Heights (map).

The workshops consist of two sessions:

  • Session 1, Successful Recycling in Your Workplace: 9 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
  • Session 2, Contracting for Waste and Recycling Services: 11 a.m.–noon.

Participants may attend either or both sessions.

The workshops are free, but registration is required. Online registration (click here and scroll down to “Upcoming Seminars”) is available through the Solid Waste District’s website, as is the Solid Waste District’s flyer for the workshops.

More information is available from Recycling Specialist Doreen Schreiber at (216) 443-3732 or

Want to stay in touch with the latest recycling news in the Cleveland area? Just click on the Follow button at the bottom of my blog Home page or subscriibe to my page.