U.S. Food Waste Challenge
On June 4, 2013, EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a collaborative effort to raise awareness of the environmental, health and nutrition issues created by food waste. This collaboration will also broaden the reach of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. Learn more...
Instead of wasting food and money, Rethink! Join Now
How much of your food and money are you literally throwing away? The Food Recovery Challenge asks participants to reduce as much of their food waste as possible – saving money, helping communities, and protecting the environment. The Challenge is part of the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, which seeks to reduce the environmental impact of materials through their entire life cycle, including how they are extracted, manufactured, distributed, used, reused, recycled, and disposed.
Did you know?
Around 35 million tons of food waste was generated, in 2010, 97 percent of which was thrown away into landfills or incinerators.
More than 14 percent of households in the U.S. were food insecure, in 2009, meaning they did not know where their next meal would come from.
Wasted food means wasted money for businesses and residences.
Food decomposes in landfills to generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Wasted food has economic, environmental, and social impacts. Much of this “waste” is not waste at all, but actually safe, wholesome food that could potentially feed millions of Americans. Excess food, leftovers and scraps that are not fit for consumption and donation can be recycled into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.
Who can Participate?
Grocers, universities, stadiums and other venues−rethink business as usual. Learn to purchase leaner and to divert surplus food away from landfills for better uses through prevention, donation, and recycling.
Note: If you are a consumer, learn more about how you can reduce food waste.
Why take the challenge?
Improve your bottom line through cost savings from improved purchasing and preparation practices and reduced waste disposal fees
Support your community by using food to feed people, not landfills
Reduce your environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions
Get recognized for your achievements.
- Access free technical assistance for your baseline assessment and food recovery activities