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Success Stories

Food Waste

Many organizations have successful food recovery programs. Check out their success stories below:

Food Waste Reduction

Shopping for Change | PDF Version (1 pg, 381K, about PDF)
Recycling food scraps is good for the environment and business! Supermarkets in Massachusetts are reducing, recovering, and recycling their food waste and saving money by participating in the state’s voluntary supermarket recycling certification program.

Feed Hungry People

Rock and Wrap It Up! Helps Fight Hunger | PDF Version (1 pg, 645K, about PDF)
Rock and Wrap It Up! (RWU) program is a national anti-poverty think tank that arranges the collection and local donation of leftover food and other basic necessities from rock concerts, sporting events, hotels, corporate meetings, political rallies, and school cafeterias. Among those organizations that have worked with RWU are the New York Giants, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Hyatt Grand Hotel in New York City.

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Feed Animals

Food Scraps Go to the Animals | PDF Version (1 pg, 280K, about PDF)
Don’t throw away your food waste! Barthold Recycling and Roll-Off Services picks up food scraps from commercial businesses and feeds the scraps to pigs and cattle.

Feeding Animals – The Business Solution to Food Scraps | PDF Version (2 pp, 758K, about PDF)
New Jersey’s Rutgers University, the third largest student dining operation in the country, is a leader in food scraps diversion. To reduce the amount of food waste generated at Rutgers, the dining halls partnered with a local farm. Pinter Farms, who collects on average 1.125 tons of food scraps per day from Rutgers’ four main dining halls and feeds it to its hogs and cattle.

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Industrial Uses

Food to Fuel | PDF Version (1 pg, 327K, about PDF)
Want fries with that fill up? With Pacific Biodiesel you can. Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesel, Inc. converts recycled cooking oil into fuel that powers generators, commercial equipment, vehicles, and marine vessels. Biodiesel production diverts cooking oil from landfills, while its use reduces emissions of major greenhouse gases and substances such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, hazardous diesel particulates, and the acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide.

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Fine Dining Returns to the Earth | PDF Version (2 pp, 964K, about PDF)
Guests and the environment both receive the royal treatment at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By focusing on behind the scenes operations, such as food waste management, the hotel is preserving environmental resources and saving money without compromising the guest experience.

EPA’s Tribal Waste Journal: Tribal Composting Nourishes Land and Tradition (PDF) (28 pp, 982K, about PDF) includes case studies on food scraps composting from various Native American tribes and Alaskan Native villages.

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Past Success Stories

Larry’s Markets, Inc., a five-store grocery chain (sold in 2006) based in Seattle, Washington, successfully incorporated recycling and food scrap composting into its business operations. Larry’s Markets began composting and practicing other forms of recycling in 1991, and all five stores participated in these composting activities. By doing so, Larry’s Markets diverted close to 900 tons of materials (including food scraps, floral discards, and waxed cardboard) from disposal in 1998. The grocery store chain also sent food residuals to a topsoil facility for recovery and used organic materials in its landscaping activities.

In 1996, Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, collected about 288 tons of food discards for on-campus composting. This saved 75 percent of the college’s food discards from being disposed of in a landfill or incinerator. In addition, the composting program saves the college approximately $137 per ton in landfill hauling and tipping fees. As a result, the college saved more than $27,000 in waste disposal fees that year. From 1993, the year of the program’s inception, through 2000, the college has saved more than $125,000 in waste disposal fees.

The Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, New York, composts 100 percent of its food discards from its kitchen and dining room and uses the compost in landscaping applications and for an on-site greenhouse and an organic garden. By doing so, the Frost Valley facility composts about 80 tons of food scraps per year and saves nearly $10,000 in waste disposal costs.

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More Information

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery’s (CalRecycle’s) Food Scrap Reduction Case Studies Exit EPA

Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection has several Commercial and Institutional Food Scrap Recycling Pilot Projects Exit EPA food scrap recycling pilot projects underway.

Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality released Food Waste Prevention Case Study: Intel Corporation’s Cafes(PDF) (13 pp, 1.5MB, about PDF) Exit EPA

The City of San Diego Exit EPA has several commercial large venues programs involving food waste diversion through donating edible food to local charities and composting food waste. Participants include the City’s baseball stadium, convention center, airport, an amusement park, hotels, campuses, a food bank and military facilities.

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