Composting & Community: How Arcos Dorados is Embracing More Sustainable Practices in Brazil

Brazil Team

April 22, 2024

Around the world, McDonald’s restaurants are embracing more sustainable practices to help protect our planet. This is especially true in Brazil, where two extraordinary restaurants in Brasília and São Paolo are leading with innovative composting efforts.

In addition to finding more sustainable ways to operate, these restaurants have found unique opportunities to engage their local community around composting, fostering a culture of education and collaboration.

Step into McDonald's Brasília's More Sustainable Space


Brazil Team

In March 2022, franchisee Nadim Haddad set out to build a McDonald’s restaurant in Brasília that not only served guests the delicious food they know and love, but also served as a space that could educate diners on the significance of more sustainable actions. 

Nadim aspires for the restaurant to be more sustainable in its disposal of organic waste, implementing a composting center to help achieve this ambition. To involve customers, in-store waste separation stations explain how to properly dispose of waste to support the composting process.

These efforts are further bolstered by meaningful community engagement. The restaurant partners with a local cooperative to recycle waste produced on-site, and the space features a community garden where culinary herbs are planted and donated to local institutions.

Growing a McDonald’s Garden in São Paolo

Woman holding a bin full of greens

McDonald’s newest 24-hour restaurant in São Paolo was built with more sustainable design top of mind – and this thoughtfulness expands beyond the restaurant’s doors, drawing in the local community.

To help address both customer and operational organic waste, the São Paolo restaurant has embraced composting, which feeds back into their McDonald’s Garden on-site. Like in Brasília, the restaurant is equipped with waste separation bins that educate guests on how to properly sort their waste, encouraging them to support the composting process.

And the McDonald’s Garden in São Paolo isn’t just a more sustainable way to tackle waste – it also grows various vegetables and greens, which are then donated to restaurant crew. Talk about a unique work perk!

Educating younger generations on how to help protect the planet is an important piece to the São Paolo restaurant’s ambitions. Monthly events are hosted in which students from public schools are welcomed into the garden to learn about the circular food economy project and plant a seed. Since November 2023, over 230 students have visited for this special program.  

Arcos Dorados Efforts At-large in Brazil

In addition to these two restaurants at the forefront of more sustainable practices in Brazil, Arcos Dorados has made a strong effort to address waste in the market at-large. In 2023, Arcos Dorados launcched a food donation project, with 110 restaurants participating.

In nearly one year, over 15 tons of food have been donated, supporting vulnerable communities. It’s a powerful opportunity to be more sustainable while also creating impact at the local level. 

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