An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Sustainable Management of Food

Links and Resources About Food Recovery in Los Angeles

Food Recovery Hierarchy, food waste, composting, waste management, recycle, source reductionLearn about some food recovery alternatives in the Los Angeles (LA) area. EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes these food waste strategies from most to least preferable.

On this page:

Source Reduction

Source reduction is the strategy of preventing food from becoming waste in the first place. There are many resources available to tackle source reduction:

The majority of links on this page exit the site Exit

Top of Page

Feed Hungry People (Donations)

The resources below include national, regional and local organizations which take food donations in the Los Angeles area. Most take non-perishables, and some accept surplus perishable foods. Be prepared to describe your donations in terms of packaging, preparation, frequency and type. The LA County Department of Public Health provides a fact sheet on Guidelines for Safe Food Donation (PDF)(3 pp, 597 K, About PDF).

  • Burbank Green Alliance
    Resources in the Burbank area for Zero Waste Food Service for food service organizations especially within the entertainment industry.
  • Chefs to End Hunger
    Formed by LA and SF Specialty Bakeries that provides businesses with kits containing delivery boxes, pads and aluminum pans to fill with donation food. Once the kit is filled and packed, they can be given to a Specialty Bakery Driver where the boxes will be consolidated and donated to a food bank.
  • Food Finders
    Food Finders is a multiregional food bank and food rescue program headquartered in Signal Hill, CA. Volunteers and staff pick up donated food from grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants and produce markets and distribute it directly to missions, shelters and social service agencies on a same-day basis.
  • Food Forward
    Food Forward fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same. Staff and volunteers collect fresh fruits and vegetables that would normally go to waste from backyard fruit trees, public orchards, farmers markets, and the downtown Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market. All of the recovered produce is donated to hunger relief agencies across eight counties in Southern California, helping to feed 1.75 million people each year.
  • L.A. County Food Redistribution Initiative (LACFRI)
    LACFRI is a county project that began in June 2016 to foster the donation of wholesome, surplus foods to those in need. LACFRI provides resources on how and where to donate surplus food, L.A. County food donation guidelines, and liability protections.
  • LA Kitchen
    works directly with local farmers and wholesale produce companies to collect fruits and vegetables that are unsalable due to cosmetic issues or lack of commercial demand. All donations and purchases are processed at central hub for distribution or storage for use at a later date.
  • MEND – Meet Each Need with Dignity
    MEND’s Emergency Food Bank distributes millions of pounds of food annually. Services are provided in Pacoima and throughout dozens of smaller pantries at community and faith-based organizations in LA County. Staff and volunteers pick up food from supermarkets, churches, schools, businesses, and other organizations. MEND also receives food from the LA Regional Food Bank. Wrap-around services and referrals to partner agencies support our clients’ healthy lifestyles.
  • Urban Harvester
    Urban Harvester’s Food Recovery Program brings business with fresh excess food and communities in need together; making a sustainable and compassionate difference.    Contact: info@urbanharvester.org

In Los Angeles and Elsewhere

  • Rock and Wrap It Up!
    Matches vetted charities with eligible donors of perishable food including entertainment venues, hotels, K-12 schools and colleges, sports teams, and hospitals. Offers the free “Whole Earth Calculator” to convert pounds of food to pounds of CO2 equivalent (CO2e).
  • California Food Banks Farms to Families Program
    Growers and packers can now receive a tax credit for donating produce to food banks, and in some cases CAFB can provide reimbursement for special picking and packing costs.
  • Sustainable America
    Locate Food Rescue organizations.
  • ReFed Innovator Database
    The Database is a living compilation of commercial and nonprofit entities turning the food waste problem into an opportunity for economic, social, and environmental impacts. This growing database is broken down by food waste solution type, organizational status, and geographic reach. Categories include secondary marketplaces that connect surplus food (food that would otherwise be wasted) to buyers. Food product creation organizations convert edible food that is currently considered waste (e.g., surplus/cosmetically challenged produce, brewery waste, vegetable trimmings) into value-added consumer food products (e.g., juices, fruit snacks, energy bars). The Database also list variety of food recovery organizations that capture edible food that would otherwise go to waste on farms, within the supply chain, or in consumer-facing businesses, and redistributes it to food insecure populations.
  • Food Pantries - Many have varying or limited capabilities for storing food donations and therefore limit the types or timing of donations. It’s often best to contact several to determine which can use your donations. Below are links to find local food pantries.
Food Pantry Contact Hours
Eastmont Community Center 701 Hoefner Avenue
Los Angeles, 90022
(323) 726-7998
Monday – Friday
9:00 – 11:00 am
New Challenge Ministries Inc. 21804 Halldale Ave
Torrance, 90501
(310) 320-4171
Monday - Saturday
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Food Banks: Regional food banks work with local food pantries, homeless shelters and other charities for food donation. While many food banks are unable to accept perishable and prepared food, they often work with donors to find options nearby they don’t accept. Listed below, are the main food banks in the Los Angeles area.

Donation Center

Location Type of Food Accepted
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank 1734 E 41st St,
Los Angeles
CA 90058
(323) 234-3030
Prepared and perishable foods; packaged and canned foods; fresh produce from growers and distributors
Food Bank of Southern California 1444 San Francisco St.
Long Beach, CA
90813
(562) 435-3577
Prepared and perishable foods; packaged and canned foods; fresh produce from growers and distributors
Westside Food Bank 1710 22nd St.
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 828-6016
Non-perishables, contact for perishables and prepared foods
Food Share Inc. 4156 Southbank Road
Oxnard, CA 93036
(805) 983-7100
Non-perishables, contact for perishables and prepared foods
World Harvest Food Bank 1014 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles
CA 90015
(213) 746-2227
Non-perishable food; interested in prepared food

Top of Page

Feed Animals

Pig/Hog Farms

Large pig farms may accept food scraps. The Federal Swine Health Protection Act requires that food containing, or that comes in contact with meat or animal materials must be boiled before being fed to pigs. Consequently, many local pig farmers are primarily interested in single-stream fruits and vegetables or grain waste. Arrangements are often informal, and can be intermittent.

Pig Farm Location Information
Rainbow Ranch Farms 10353 Oasis Rd
Pinon Hills, CA
(760) 868-6206
Interested in food scraps, brewery spent grains; can receive food scrap/food waste in 10-ton increments and 2-ton totes. Delivery company will need to have a lift gate and pallet jack.
Da-Le Ranch 24895 Baxter Ranch Rd
Lake Elsinore
CA 92532
(951) 657-3056
No institutional leftovers, have to be cooked before being fed to pigs; compost non-toxic green waste and non-citrus fruits and veggies not fed to the pigs.
Old Reminisce Farms The USA Herd
P.O. Box 16
Jurupa Valley
CA 91752
(951) 505-5230
Takes spent brewery grains, seasonal fruits and vegetables as feed.

Spent Brewery Grain

Spent brewery grain can be used as animal feed, primarily for cattle, but also for pigs, goats, fish and almost any livestock. Most breweries give the grain away to local farms. Manufacturers with single food waste streams can find local farms and ranches to donate their excess/by-product.

Top of Page

Industrial Uses

Fats, oils and grease, also known as FOG, can be converted to fuels and has various industrial uses. FOG and food scraps can also be anaerobically digested to create energy and the digestate can be composted to create a soil amendment. Los Angeles area options and resources include:

The table below includes all facilities in the Los Angeles area including those listed on the CalRecycle list:

Organizations Feedstock Address
Inland Empire Utility Agency (IEUA) (leased to private company) Dairy and food waste Chino, CA
Kroger/Ralphs Compton Distribution Center Unsellable food from Kroger supermarkets (Ralphs, Kroger and Food4Less) 1100 W. Artesia Blvd.
Compton, CA 90220
Gills Onions Onion processing waste 1051 S Pacific Ave
Oxnard CA 93030
Encina Wastewater Authority FOG and liquefied food waste 6200 Avenida Encinas
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District Rancho Las Virgenes Composting Facility (under construction) FOG and food waste from trash collection 3700 Las Virgenes Road
Calabasas, CA
CR&R Material Recovery Facility (under construction) Organics (food and green waste) from municipal trash (Riverside County)
Perris, CA
L.A. Sanitation District - at the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (pilot project) Food waste collected by Waste Management of Orange 24501 S. Figueroa St
Carson, CA
L.A. Sanitation District - at the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (pilot project) Food waste collected by Waste Management of Orange 24501 S. Figueroa St
Carson, CA
Agromin Zero Waste Energy (Permitting) Food waste from trash collection from Oxnard and surrounding areas Oxnard, CA
Anaergia – Republic Material Recovery Facility (Permitting) Organics (food and green waste) from trash collection from Anaheim and surrounding areas Anaheim, CA

Biodiesel/Biofuels

  • Geogreen Biofuels
    • 6011 Malburg Way, Vernon, CA 90058; (323) 826-9753
    • Offers FOG pickup and currently uses a small amount of waste vegetable oil mixed with other sources in biodiesel production.
  • Biodico
    • National Environmental Test Site at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, CA.; (805) 683-8103
    • Offers FOG pickup from restaurants in northern Los Angeles County and Ventura County.

FOG Collection/Biofuel

  • Baker Commodities Inc.
    • 4020 Bandini Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023; (323) 268-2801
    • Collects FOG.
    • Provides collection containers; one-time $30 registration fee.
  • Co-West Commodities
    • 9 West Mill St., San Bernardino, CA 92410; (909) 383-8341
    • Collects animal by-products, FOG.
    • Provides collection containers; $20 per pick-up for mixed materials.
  • Darling International Inc.
    • 2626 E 25th St., Los Angeles, CA 90058; (323) 583-6311
    • Collects animal by-products, FOG.
    • Provides collection containers.
  • Frailich Commodities
    • 4020 Bandini Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023; (323) 265-3477 (same address and location as Baker Commodities, but separate company)
    • Collects animal by-products, FOG.
    • Provides collection containers.
  • GeoGreen Biofuels
    • 6011 Malburg Way, Vernon, CA 90058, (323) 826-9753
    • Collects used vegetable oil.
    • Provides containers and refines into biodiesel and other products.
  • West Coast Rendering
    • 4105 Bandini Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023; (323) 261-4176
    • Offers drop-off location for animal by-products, FOG.
    • Collects food waste from hotels and large food waste generators.
  • Southwest Processors
    • 4120 Bandini Blvd, Vernon, CA 90058; (323) 269-9876
    • Collects animal by-products, FOG.

Top of Page

Food Scraps Composting

Composting turns food scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendments and can be done on site in smaller amounts or on a larger scale at a municipal or commercial level.

Food Waste Recycling Collectors

  • Athens Services
    • (877) 278-2220
    • Serves cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Redondo Beach
    • Provides collection of all food (including meat and dairy), paper products, plant trimmings, wood, compostable serving-ware, and waxed cardboard.
    • Certified processor for the City of Los Angeles’ Commercial Food Waste Recycling Program
  • Community Recycling & Resource Recovery
    • 9147 De Garmo Ave., Sun Valley, CA 91352; (818) 767-6000
    • Provides collection of grocery store waste including produce trim and cull, meats, waxed cardboard boxes, spoiled foods.
    • Operates a transfer station and provides collection for large quantity generators throughout Los Angeles County; charges for collection and drop-off.
  • Crown Disposal
    • Sun Valley, California 91353; (818) 767-0675
    • Delivers to Community Recycling for composting.
    • Provides collection in East Valley and West Valley areas.
  • Dext Co.
    • 9112 Graham Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90002; (323) 564-5871
    • Provides collection of grain-based products, including bakery goods, pasta, noodles, etc. throughout Los Angeles County.
  • Feed Commodities
    • 1163 Belmont St., Ontario, CA 91761; (909) 923-3314
    • Provides collection of grain-based products, including bakery goods, pasta, noodles, etc. throughout Los Angeles County.
  • Hogg Brothers
    • 13377 Grove St., Ontario, CA 91761; (909) 947-2821
    • Provides collection of grain-based products, including bread, tortillas, pasta, noodles, and other foods such as potatoes, onions etc. Also has drop-off location.
  • Martin Feed & Cattle
    • 7080 Summer Ave., Corona, CA 91761; (909) 737-6017
    • Provides collection of grain-based products, including bread, tortillas, pasta, noodles, and other foods such as potatoes, onions etc. Call for current charges or prices paid.
  • Standard Feed
    • 13751 South Haven Ave., Ontario, CA 91761; (909) 947-3738
    • Provides collection of grain-based products, including bread, tortillas, pasta, noodles, and other foods such as potatoes, and onions. Offers some drop-off locations.
  • West Coast Recycling
    • 4105 Bandini Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023; (323) 261-4176
    • Drop-off location for animal by-products, grease, fat, and bones.
    • Provides collection of food waste to hotels and large food waste generators. Call for current charges.

Food Waste Composters

  • American Organics
    Composts food waste from Athens Services.
    • Victor Valley Facility, 20055 Shay Road, Victorville, CA 92394; (760) 246-7946
  • Community Recycling & Resource Recovery
    Composts food scraps from Crown Disposal.
    • 1261 North Wheeler Ridge Road, Lamont, CA 93241; (661) 845-4056
    • 9189 De Garmo Avenue, Sun Valley, CA 91352; (818) 767-6000
  • Waste Management/Waste Transfer and Recycling
    • 840 S. Mission Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90023; (323) 262-9699

Top of Page

Los Angeles Food Recovery Successes

Los Angeles Unified School District donates up to 21,000 uneaten meals each day to nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry. L.A. Unified serves 650,000 meals a day at about 1,000 locations and leftovers include packaged foods such as granola bars or cereal, entrées, fruit, vegetables and milk. L.A. Unified expects about 200 agencies eventually will take part. Read more about this in an LA Times article.

University of California (U.C.) Los Angeles Dining Services recover left over produce, prepared food, eggs, and milk from large student events for donation to the Los Angeles Food Bank and Los Angeles Mission. In September 2014, Dining Services donated over 1,300 lbs and more than 2,200 turkey wraps, cookies, and sliders from the 2014 New Student Welcome BBQ. In September 2013, Dining Services donated 386 lbs. of food left over from the New Student Welcome BBQ. In December 2012, 8,200 pounds of left over produce were donated as part of the Winter Break shut down. Learn more on their website.

Picture of food wastes.

Waste Management collects food scraps from restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and food processing plants, and takes them to its facility in Carson City for grinding into a slurry. The slurry is then taken to a Los Angeles County wastewater treatment plant, where it is mixed in with sewage in anaerobic digesters to produces biogas for energy production.

Several Los Angeles breweries, Eagle Rock Brewery, San Pedro Brewing Golden Road Brewing, and Belmont Brewing donate spent grain to farmers and schools for feed for horses, cattle, and pigs.

Top of Page

Disclaimer: The information contained on these pages is intended to inform the public and does not establish or affect legal rights or obligations. Links to non-EPA sites do not imply any official EPA endorsement of, or responsibility for, the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at those locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. Reference to any specific commercial products, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.