Silo: London's Pioneering Zero Waste Restaurant

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Silo: London's Pioneering Zero Waste Restaurant


Silo, a revolutionary restaurant in London, UK, operates without a single trash bin, embracing a zero-waste model. This groundbreaking approach involves meticulous planning, strategic sourcing, and innovative operational methods to eliminate waste entirely.

The Zero Waste Philosophy

Silo achieves zero waste through comprehensive composting, recycling, and ensuring every material is reusable or biodegradable. This not only minimizes environmental impact but also sets a high standard for sustainable business operations. Douglas McMaster, the visionary behind Silo, deserves commendation for his pioneering efforts, inspiring others to follow suit.

From Root to Tip and Nose to Tail

Embracing a 'nose to tail' and 'root to tip' approach, Silo maximizes the use of every part of an animal or vegetable. Originating in Australia in 2011 by artist Joost Bakker, this concept was refined by McMaster, culminating in Silo becoming the world's first zero-waste restaurant. In October 2019, Silo relocated to The White Building in London, partnering with CRATE Brewery.

Crafting from Whole Ingredients

Silo's menu is created from whole ingredients, avoiding over-processing and reducing food miles. They mill their own flour from ancient wheat varieties, churn their own butter, roll their own oats, and adhere to a strict root-to-leaf ideology, ensuring maximum resource utilization.

A Network of Committed Suppliers

Silo collaborates with suppliers who share their zero-waste commitment. All products arrive in reusable, returnable vessels like crates, pails, and urns. The minimal waste generated is natural and compostable, closing the loop in their sustainable cycle.

Innovative Upcycling and Fermentation

Silo's fermentarium transforms vegetable trimmings, cheese rinds, and excess dairy into garums, adding complex flavors to their dishes. Furniture and fittings in the dining room are upcycled, with materials repurposed into functional, beautiful designs. Plates are made from plastic bags, tables from reconstituted food packaging, and light shades grown from mycelium on spent brewer's grains.

Tackling the Last 0.1%

Despite their best efforts, achieving 100% zero waste is nearly impossible. The negligible 0.1% of their output that cannot be upcycled, composted, or recycled is termed 'alien waste.' Silo retains all their alien waste, condensed into a small, 4x4 inch block of blue, symbolizing their commitment to minimizing waste.

Leading the Way Forward

Silo's innovative practices in waste management and sustainable operations reduce their environmental footprint and serve as a model for other businesses. Douglas McMaster and his team demonstrate that with dedication and creativity, a zero-waste future is within reach, paving the way for a more sustainable world.

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