New Fact Sheet Packet Highlights Record-Setting Food Recovery Programs January 1999
For immediate release Contact: Brenda Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance – 202-898-1610
Washington, D.C. — Food comprises almost 7% by weight of the total U.S. municipal solid waste stream. This translates to 14 million tons of food discards each year. Only a small fraction is recovered — less than 5%. The good news is a growing number of food-related businesses are opting to divert their food discards to useful purposes in place of the dump.
A new fact sheet packet, researched and produced by the Washington, DC-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Don’t Throw Away That Food: Strategies for Record-Setting Waste Reduction, documents nine model programs with record-setting food recovery levels. The research was funded under a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which also published the results.
The fact sheet packet contains profiles of food recovery programs at a hospital, college, office building network, recreational facility, prison system, urban produce market, fairgrounds, and two supermarkets. Each profile documents the program, collection strategies, end users, costs, benefits, and tips for replication. The packet includes a question-and-answer section on operating a food recovery program, tips for solid waste planners, and resources for more information. Food-related establishments and recycling coordinators interested in recovering food will find this packet useful.
“Food recovery is essential to achieving high waste reduction levels,” says Brenda Platt, Director of Materials Recovery for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “By linking food discard generators and haulers to
food banks, compost operators, and farmers, we can turn garbage into wealth.” Indeed, the record-setting programs featured in Don’t Throw Away That Food are recovering 50 to 100% of their unwanted food and reducing their overall solid waste by 33 to 85%. Other benefits include reduced operating costs and support of local industries and jobs.
Don’t Throw Away That Food (EPA-530-F-98-023) is available free through the RCRA hotline 1-800-424-9346. Contact the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for more information on its Waste Reduction Record-Setters project and related products (Web Site http://www.ilsr.org).
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is a nonprofit research and educational organization that provides technical assistance to city and state government, citizen organizations, and industry to promote sustainable economic development.
For more information on ILSR, its programs, and its publications, visit its Web Site at http://www.ilsr.org