EPA awards grant to support Wasted Food Solutions for Denver project
DENVER – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $23,351 in grant funding to the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) through the agency’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) program. CET received EPA funding in 2021, for an initial phase of its project to improve food waste reduction and recovery in Denver.
CET initiated the Wasted Food Solutions’ project in 2021 at the request of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment to identify barriers and provide solutions to increase food donations in the city. CET is a nongovernmental organization based in Massachusetts that helps cities and states across the country connect with wasted food solutions.
This award allows CET to continue its work with the city and put into action many of the tools and strategies developed last year. Over the course of a year CET will apply findings from the initial phase of this project to implement strategies that increase participation in and adoption of food donation efforts. CET will connect with local food businesses, food banks, food rescue organizations, and local government to capture success stories of donation while honing support materials that spur food recovery. The project will culminate in a campaign that draws on community-based social marketing techniques to inspire new businesses to donate surplus edible food.
“The initial phase of this project demonstrated great success in reducing barriers to food recovery in Denver,” said Regional Administrator KC Becker. “By implementing and enhancing food recovery efforts, CET is serving as an example to communities across the country of the important role the food-sector can play in reducing waste, and minimizing environmental impacts of food production and disposal, while also providing nutritious meals to those experiencing food insecurity.”
”CET is looking forward to working with project partners to highlight existing activities that redistribute safe, edible food, while increasing these critical partnerships," said Ashley Muspratt, President of The Center for EcoTechnology. “Surplus happens, and we want to work with businesses to foster relationships with community partners that can help redistribute it, positively impacting our communities, our environment, and businesses' bottom lines."
SMM is a systemic approach to using materials more productively and finding new opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources and reduce costs over a product's life cycle. EPA’s SMM program supports efforts to help build community health by reducing the use, release, and exposure to toxic chemicals; using life-cycle approaches to reduce the health and environmental impacts of materials use; and employing upstream solutions that reduce the need for and cost of environmental cleanup and pollution management.
Source reduction is an approach aimed at sustainably managing materials by reducing the amount or toxicity of garbage generated through the design, manufacture, purchase, or use of materials (such as products and packaging). Source reduction can help reduce waste disposal and handling charges because the costs of recycling, municipal composting, landfilling, and combustion are avoided. Source reduction conserves resources and reduces pollution.
Click here for more information on the Sustainable Materials Management program.