Sustainable Management of Food

Food Recovery Challenge Results and Award Winners

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Recognition is a key element of the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program and the Food Recovery Challenge (FRC). Food Recovery Challenge awards are offered in two categories – data driven and narrative. Participants do not need to apply for the data driven awards, as these awards are given based on the information submitted via the SMM Data Management System and are based on percent changes comparing an organization’s data to the previous year’s data. Participants and endorsers can apply for narrative awards in the following areas: Source Reduction, Leadership, Innovation, Education and Outreach, and Endorsers.


Food Recovery Challenge Results - Reductions in 2015

In 2015, more than 800 Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers prevented and diverted over 691,000 tons of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators. Of this amount, participants and endorsers: 

  • prevented over 1,000 tons of wasted food from being created through source reduction (prevention) activities
  • donated approximately 302,000 tons of food
  • anaerobically digested nearly 75,000 tons of food
  • composted more than 313,000 tons of food
  • reduced carbon emissions by almost 407,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E)

EPA is pleased to recognize the following organizations for their outstanding efforts to advance sustainable materials management and for their leadership in sustainable management of food. Their accomplishments, along with all of the other FRC participants and endorsers will go a long way towards meeting the United States’ first ever national wasted food reduction goal – a 50 percent reduction by 2030.

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2016 Food Recovery Challenge Awards -National Award Winners

Data-driven Improvement by Sector – highest percent increase over previous years

• Grocers: Sprouts Farmers Market: 205
• Colleges and Universities: Ursinus College
• K-12 Schools: Lanikai School
• Sports and Entertainment Venues: Chumash Casino Resort
• Hotels, Resorts, and Lodging: Ortega National Parks, LLC: Carlsbad Caverns Trading Company
• Restaurants and Food Service Providers: Goodkind
• Newcomer: Sprouts Farmers Market: 286
• Other Sector: Town of New Paltz

Narrative Categories

• Source Reduction, Winner: University of California, Davis
• Leadership, Winner: Sodexo
• Innovation, Winner: Food Forward
• Education and Outreach, Winner: Ramona High School
• Endorsers, Winner: Northeast Recycling Council

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2016 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award Winners

In addition to national awards, EPA regional offices across the country provided recognition to FRC participants and endorsers for outstanding accomplishments in preventing and diverting wasted food. Regional winners are listed below by EPA Region and then by U.S. state:

EPA New England Region 1


Connecticut

  • Wesleyan University
  • Whole Foods Market: Danbury, Fairfield and Darien

Massachusetts

  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Big Y, headquarters in Springfield
  • Boston College
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Boston Medical Center
  • BJs Wholesale Club, headquarters in Westborough
  • Framingham State University
  • Gillette Stadium
  • Lesley University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy
  • Northeastern University
  • Salem State University
  • Saunders Hotel Group: The Lenox, Boston
  • Saunders Hotel Group: Comfort Inn & Suites, Revere
  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Wellesley College
  • Whole Foods Market: North Atlantic Region, Cambridge

Maine

  • Hannaford Supermarkets, headquarters in Scarborough
  • University of Southern Maine

New Hampshire

  • Keene State College

Vermont

  • Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

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EPA's Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands


New Jersey

  • FRC Ravitz Family Markets, Price Rite Supermarkets Inc.
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Ridgewood
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Montclair
  • The DOE Princeton Plasma Physics Lab
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Middletown
  • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Marlton Supermarkets Inc.
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Paramus
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Millburn-Union
  • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Mount Laurel Supermarkets Inc.
  • Raritan Valley Community College
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Rose City Madison
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: West Orange
  • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Cherry Hill Supermarkets Inc.
  • Hackensack University Medical Center
  • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Evesham Rd., Cherry Hill Supermarkets Inc.
  • Ravitz Family Markets, Shoprite: Union Mill Rd., Mt. Laurel Supermarkets Inc.

New York

  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Albany
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Port Chester
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: Yonkers
  • Whole Foods Market, Northeast Region: White Plains
  • CBS
  • Daemen College
  • Live Nation Jones Beach Theater
  • Merrick Avenue School
  • NBC Universal
  • Westhampton Beach School Districts
  • Unforgettable Production
  • Arizona Diamond Backs
  • Atlanta Braves
  • Bagelry of the Five Towns
  • CBS
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Chipotle of the Five Towns
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Costco of the Five Towns
  • Crawfords Coffee Bar & Cafe of the Five Towns
  • Guilford County Schools
  • HBO
  • Island Bagel Bar of the Five Towns
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Minnesota Twins
  • NBC Universal
  • New York Knicks
  • New York Mets
  • New York Rangers
  • New York Yankees
  • Panera Bread of the Five Towns
  • Royal Pains Production
  • Showtime
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Starbucks of the Five Towns
  • The Affair Production
  • The Following Production
  • The Good Wife Production
  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Production
  • Warner Brothers

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EPA's Region 5: Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin


Ohio

  • The Kroger Company

Michigan

  • Central Michigan University

Minnesota

  • Saint Paul River Centre/Xcel Energy Center

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EPA's Region 9: The Pacific Southwest


California

  • City of San Diego Environmental Services Department

Hawaii

  • Lanikai School Public Charter

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2015 Food Recovery Challenge Awards - National Award Winners

Data-driven Improvement by Sector – highest percent increase over previous year

Narrative Categories

  • Source Reduction, Winner: UC, Santa Cruz
  • Source Reduction, Honorable Mention: Clark University
  • Leadership, Winner: MB Financial Park at Rosemont/Village of Rosemont
  • Innovation, Winner: Crystal Creamery
  • Innovation, Honorable Mention: City of Philadelphia - Philadelphia Prison System
  • Education and Outreach, Winner: Keene State College
  • Endorser, Winner: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

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2015 Food Recovery Challenge Regional Award Winners

In addition to national awards, EPA regional offices across the country provided recognition to FRC participants and endorsers for outstanding accomplishments in preventing and diverting wasted food. Regional winners are listed below by EPA Region and then by U.S. state:

EPA New England (Region 1)

Connecticut

Wesleyan University
Whole Foods Market, Danbury
Whole Food Market, Westport

Massachusetts

Berkshire Health Systems (expanded story available)
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Big Y, headquartered in Springfield
BJs Wholesale Club, headquartered in Westborough
Boston Organics
Fairview Hospital (of Berkshire Hospital Systems), Great Barrington
Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, Cambridge and Framingham
Lesley University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Northeastern University
Signature Bread
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Wellesley College

Maine

Colby College
University of Maine, Farmington
University of Maine, Orono
University of Southern Maine, Portland

New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire, Durham (expanded story available)

Rhode Island

Johnson & Wales University 

Vermont

Stratton Mountain Resort

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EPA New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands (Region 2)

New York

Rochester Institute of Technology (expanded story available)
Wegmans (expanded story available)
Whole Foods, Bowery
Whole Foods, Lake Grove
Whole Foods, Jericho

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EPA Pacific Southwest (Region 9)

Arizona

Northern Arizona University (expanded story available)
University of Arizona (expanded story available)
Arizona State University

California

City of Cupertino (expanded story available)
Disneyland Resort (expanded story available)
Food Forward (expanded story available)
University of California, Davis (expanded story available)
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Merced
University of California, Riverside
University of California, Santa Barbara
California State University, Northridge (expanded story available)
Nestle USA (expanded story available)
Ortega National Parks Muir Woods Trading Company

Hawaii

Kapiolani Community College
Kupu Hawai'i, Honolulu (expanded story available)
Ortega National Parks Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company
Whole Foods, Maui

Nevada

MGM Resorts CityCenter (expanded story available)
University of Reno

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2014 Food Recovery Challenge National Award Winners

National Data-Driven Awardees

  • College and University, Winner, Worcester State University
  • College and University, Honorable Mention, Wellesley College
  • Grocer, Corporate Winner, Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, ShopRite
  • Grocer, Facility Winner, Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, ShopRite, Marlton Supermarkets, Inc.
  • Grocer, Facility Honorable Mention, Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, ShopRite, Union Mill Road, Mt. Laurel, NJ
  • Sports and Entertainment Venues, Corporate Winner, National Hockey League
  • Sports Venue, Facility Winner, National Hockey League, Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena
  • Convention Center, Facility Winner, Savor McCormick Place West
  • Theme Park, Facility Winner, Disneyland Resort
  • Hotel, Resort & Lodging, Corporate Winner, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas
  • Hotel, Resort & Lodging, Facility Winner, Intercontinental New York Barclay
  • Hotel, Resort & Lodging, Facility Honorable Mention, MGM Resorts International, MGM Grand, Las Vegas
  • Other Sector, Facility Winner, MB Financial Park at Rosemont/Village of Rosemont
  • Other Sector, Facility Honorable Mention, Parkland Medical Center

National Narrative Awardees

  • Source Reduction, Winner, University of California, Irvine
  • Source Reduction, Honorable Mention, Kroger’s
  • Leadership, Winner, Kroger’s
  • Leadership, Honorable Mention, Savor…Chicago at McCormick Place
  • Innovation, Winner, Kroger’s
  • Education and Outreach, Winner, Kroger’s
  • Education and Outreach, Honorable Mention, Savor…Chicago at McCormick Place
  • Endorser, Winner, Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium
  • Endorser, Honorable Mention, LeanPath

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2013 Food Recovery Challenge National Awards and Winners     

Recognition is a key element of the Sustainable Materials Management Program and the Food Recovery Challenge. EPA is pleased to recognize these organizations for their outstanding leadership in food waste prevention and diversion in 2012.

National Data-Driven Awardees

  • College and University, Winner, UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA (Diverted more than 80 tons of food waste in 2012)
  • College and University, Honorable Mention, Clark University, Worcester, MA (Diverted more than 10 tons of food waste in 2012)
  • Food, Drug and Convenience Stores, Winner, ShopRite of Roxborough, Philadelphia, PA (Diverted more than 223 tons of food waste in 2012)
  • Food, Drug and Convenience Stores, Honorable Mention, Whole Foods South Region, North Raleigh, Raleigh, NC (Diverted nearly 300 tons of food waste in 2012)
  • Sports and Entertainment, Winner, Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia Eagles), Philadelphia, PA (Composted more than 105 tons of food waste in 2012)
  • General Category, Winner, The Orchards at Southington, Southington, CT (Diverted over one ton of food waste in 2012)
  • General Category, Honorable Mention, Federal Correctional Institution, McDowell, Welch, WV (Diverted over 130 tons of food waste in 2012)

Narrative Awardees

  • Innovation, UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA
    • Student-led composting effort resulted in nearly 1,300 tons of food waste being composted.
  • Innovation, Clark University, Worcester, MA
    • Clark University Eco Reps’ composting pilot project resulted in the identification of up to 60 percent of dorm waste being compostable material. Commercial size compost bins are on all floors of freshman dorms, as well as in the dining hall.
  • Innovation, City of Cupertino, CA
    • The City negotiated a five year franchise agreement with its hauler to achieve a 75 percent waste diversion rate, with contract extension being dependent on this goal being met. The City identified higher rates of food waste collection and composting as the means to achieving the 75 percent goal. As a result of this effort, the City’s diversion rate has increased from 65 percent to 71 percent.
  • Endorsers, Wakefern Food Corporation, Edison, NJ
    • Under Wakefern’s leadership, ten ShopRite stores registered for the Food Recovery Challenge and prevented a total of more than 1,100 tons of food waste from going to landfills or incinerators.

2013 National Awards Process

The EPA presented seven participants with national data-driven awards for annual improvement, measuring increases in food waste prevention and diversion by comparing 2012 data to 2011 data.

Annual Improvement awards go to the top two participants in the three key sectors of grocers, venues and colleges/universities, as well as in a general category. The seven data-driven award recipients prevented and diverted a combined total of 2,619 tons of food waste in 2012 from entering landfills or incinerators.

The Agency gave four narrative awards in the Innovation and Endorsers categories. Innovation awards are given to FRC participants who can demonstrate developing and implementing a better or more effective approach to improving food waste diversion from landfills or incinerators. Endorser awards are given to FRC participants who have demonstrated excellence in environmental leadership by both educating grocers, universities, venues, and other entities about the importance of sustainable food waste management and influencing them to join the FRC.

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