Sustainable Management of Food

Wasted Food Programs and Resources Across the United States

Food loss and waste is a growing problem in our modern society. The amount of food Americans throw away each year is staggering. In 2014 alone, more than 38 million tons of food waste was generated, with only five percent diverted from landfills and incinerators. EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators that any other single material in our everyday trash, constituting 21.6 percent of discarded municipal solid waste.

There are growing efforts both to prevent wasted food from occurring in the first place and to divert if from landfills and incinerators. Choose your state or EPA region from the map below or scroll down to find information about state and/or EPA regional wasted food prevention and diversion efforts.

Note: Read a disclaimer about the information presented on this Web page

Picture of EPA's regional U.S. map

 Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee  Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakaota, Utah, Wyoming Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington


EPA Region 1: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont

Current projects and grants awarded by the EPA New England Sustainable Food Management Program are listed below:

Reduce and Recover Save Food for People Conference

The Reduce and Recover Save Food for People Conference was co-sponsored by U.S. EPA, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic on June 28-29, 2016. Read about the conference, view recordings of the sessions and more on the conference website. Exit

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Healthy Communities Grant Program

Healthy Communities Grant Program is EPA New England's main competitive grant program to work directly with communities to reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health and improve the quality of life. Below is a list of the organizations that received grant awards in the past three years to further wasted food reduction and diversion projects:

2016 Awardees 2015 Awardees 2014 Awardee

Center for Ecotechnology
Waste Not Bridgeport
$25,000

Sustainable America
Implementing the Food Too Good to Waste Toolkit
$25,000

Northeast Recycling Council
Creating Healthy Communities through Food Recovery & Composting in Vermont
$25,000

Charter Oaks Community Economic Development
$25,000

Rhode Island Food Policy Council (Third Sector New England)
The Food Too Good to Waste Ambassador Program
$24,788

 

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2016 New England Food Recovery Challenge Endorsers

EPA New England works with a number of organizations, called endorsers, that do not generate wasted food, but can provide resources to others to reduce their generation of wasted food. Below are the organizations that are participating in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge as endorsers.

 

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State Agencies, Non-profits and Partnership Organizations

Below are links to state environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and partnership organizations that provide information about waste management and disposal, composting and food waste disposal bans in EPA Region 1 states:The following links exit the site Exit

State

Organization
New England
Connecticut
  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commercial Organics Ban took effect on October 1, 2014 and states that a commercial food wholesaler or distributor, industrial food manufacturer or processor, supermarket, resort or conference center that generates a projected annual volume of 104 or more tons per year of source separated organic material, and is located within 20 miles of a permitted recycling facility that can accept that material, then those materials must be recycled.
Maine

Massachusetts

New Hampshire
Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Food Waste Ban took effect on January 1, 2016 and applies only to organic waste producing institutions generating more than 104 tons per year (two tons per week). Food waste generators are exempt from recycling their materials if there is not a composting or anaerobic digestion facility within 15 miles of the institution’s location.
Vermont
  • Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Universal Recycling Law (Act 148), effectively bans disposal of traditional recyclables, leaf and yard waste, and food scraps found in Vermonters' trash bins. Specifically, food scrap (organic, compostable kitchen wastes) diversion began in a phased approach on July 1, 2014 targeting food scrap generators greater than 2 tons per week and located within 20 miles of certified (composting, anaerobic digestion) facility. Diversion continues to ramp up by all size generators over time and by 2020, all food scraps, including those from households, must be diverted with no exemption for distance.
  • Vermont Food Donation Guidance has been developed by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Agency of Education to promote food donation from businesses and institutions, as well as, kindergarten through grade 12 school share tables.

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EPA Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands

Below are links to state and local environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and universities that provide information about anaerobic digestion, composting, food donation and food rescue in New York and New Jersey: The following links exit the site Exit

State Resources
New York
New Jersey

Local food banks:

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EPA Region 3: Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia

Below are links to state environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and partnership organizations that provide information about composting, anaerobic digestion, organics product development and markets as well as solid waste management: The following links exit the site Exit

State Resources
Delaware
Maryland
Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania Recycling Markets provides turnkey technical assistance that supports organics product development as well as new or existing market opportunities through their Organics Management Assistance Program.
Virginia
West Virginia

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EPA Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee

EPA worked with the Environmental Finance Center serving Region 4 at the University of Louisville to develop the Organics Recovery Program Development Tool for Colleges and Universities. The purpose of this tool is to assist post-secondary institutions with organizing new or expanding existing organics recovery programming with a special focus on composting. This introductory guide is organized by common practical composting methods from existing resources that is supported with school-specific examples and best practices.

Below are links to state environmental agencies and local organizations that provide information about composting, recycling, food rescue, source reduction, food donation and waste reduction in Region 4 states:

The following links exit the site Exit

State Resources
Alabama
Florida
Georgia
  • Foodwell Alliance connects people and resources across Metro Atlanta to amplify and accelerate the local food movement through community gardens, grants and workshops.
  • Georgia Organics is a nonprofit that has resources for teachers and cafeteria workers to implement farm to school resources, along with an interactive map to find local food resources in Georgia.
  • Atlanta Community Food Bank is a nonprofit that takes industry donations, as well as private donations for food across the Atlanta area. 
  • Environmental Protection Division is in charge of solid waste programs in the state, and has an interactive map for composting operations in the state.
Kentucky
  • Department for Environmental Protection Recycling and Local Assistance Program
  • Organics Recovery Program Development Tool(66 pp, 2.2 M, About PDF) was created by the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Louisville in conjugation with EPA, to assist colleges and universities with organizing or expanding organics recovery programs.
  • GleanKY is an organization that gleans (aka, collects) excess produce from grocery stores, supermarkets, farms, orchards and farmers’ markets. It reduces local food waste and provides fruits and vegetable for more than 50 food pantries and meal programs.
  • Seedleaf works to increase the amount, affordability, nutritional value and sustainability of food available to people at risk of hunger in central Kentucky by growing, recycling and sharing food.
Mississippi
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee

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EPA Region 5: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin

Below are resources for sustainable food management in EPA Region 5:

2015 Resource Guide on Food Scrap Compost Facility Training for Region 5 States and Operators

This information resource guide was developed to discuss compost facility training needs and opportunities in EPA Region 5 states. This report:

  • Summarizes current EPA Region 5 state regulations relating to food scrap composting and requirements for operator training;
  • Identifies and describes key components of compost training resources available to EPA Region 5 state agency personnel and compost operators, especially those that accept food waste;
  • Provides a summary of interviews with EPA Region 5 compost operators regarding their experiences with available operator training; and
  • Identifies key components that address the compost operational issues faced in EPA Region 5.

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State Agencies, Non-profit Organizations and Academic Institutions

Below are links to state environmental and economic development agencies as well as other organizations that offer pollution prevention, waste exchanges, solid waste, recycling and composting resources in EPA Region 5 states:The following links exit the site Exit

State State Environmental Agency Website Resources

Illinois

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
  • The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition is a group of solid waste agencies, counties, community and government organizations, businesses, schools, institutions, service providers, and processors dedicated to advancing food scrap composting in Illinois through program implementation, policy, and advocacy.
  • Illinois Recycling Association has more than 100 members and acts as the collective voice for recycling on critical waste management issues at the state level.

Indiana

Indiana Department of Environmental Management
  • The Indiana Recycling Coalition represents the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative, a multi-stakeholder group which explores the issues behind wasted food and supports the reduction of wasted food across the state.

Michigan

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • The Michigan Recycling Coalition and its committee, the Michigan Organics Council, represents recycling and composting interests statewide as a recognized authority on waste reduction, beneficial utilization, recycling, and composting.
Minnesota Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • The Minnesota Composting Council is dedicated to the development, expansion, and promotion of the composting industry based upon sound science, principles of sustainability, and economic viability.
  • The Recycling Association of Minnesota is committed to promoting resource conservation through waste prevention, reuse, recycling, composting and purchasing practices using the most cost effective and environmentally sound methods available in Minnesota.
Ohio Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Organic Recycling Association of Ohio is a nonprofit organization that promotes the growth of the organics recycling industry in Ohio by encouraging further study, research, advancement, and development of composting and organic recycling through professionalism, education, training, information exchange and networking within the industry and with regulatory agencies.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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EPA Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

State Agencies, Non-profit Organizations and Academic Institutions

Below are links to state environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and universities that provide information about composting, recycling, food rescue, source reduction, food donation and waste reduction in Region 7 states:

The following links exit the site Exit

State Resource
Arkansas
Louisiana
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Texas
  • Master Composter Training
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality information about composting
  • Resources in Austin
    • The city plans to expand its Universal Recycling Ordinance to include compostables with comprehensive organics collection from all sectors throughout the city to be fully implemented by 2016. The city's Master Plan( 321 pp, 36.8 M, About PDF) considers the highest and best use of food waste and acknowledges the use of compost to enrich soil and strengthen sustainable food production.
    • The city provides a Zero Waste Event Rebate as a financial incentive for event organizers to make their outdoor events more sustainable and help reduce the amount of trash sent to area landfills.
    • Compost Pedallers picks up food waste from restaurants and residences by bicycle for delivery to local community gardens and farms to become nutrient-rich compost.
  • Resources in Dallas/Ft. Worth:
    • FoodSource DFW is a non-profit organization that strives to reduce waste, and distribute food and resources to people and families in need.
    • Equal Heart delivers federally funded meals free of charge to children at after-school and summer sites throughout the country.
    • University of North Texas Health Science Center Office of Sustainability Food Outreach(2 pp, 8.2 M, About PDF)
    • Melissa Feeders is a family owned company specializing in all areas of the beef and dairy beef industries that uses food waste for animal feed.

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EPA Region 7: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

State Agencies, Non-profit Organizations and Academic Institutions

Below are links to state environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and universities that provide information about composting, recycling, food rescue, source reduction, food donation and waste reduction in Region 7 states: The following links exit the site Exit

State State Environmental Agency Organizations
Iowa
  • The Iowa Recycling Association is a statewide nonprofit that seeks to advance effective recycling by sharing resources, education and advocacy opportunities.
  • The Food Rescue Partnership is a community-focused coalition committed to rescuing food throughout the Quad Cities that would otherwise be thrown away, by informing and engaging the public and by fostering partnerships among food establishments, the Foodbank, food pantries, meal sites, and shelters.
  • Information from Johnson County Solid Waste District and Iowa City website about local composting and strategies for reducing wasted food.
     
  • The Iowa Waste Reduction Center is a nationally recognized organization at the University of Northern Iowa devoted to environmental consulting, assistance, training and education for entities with environmental impact or need that provides information on reducing and diverting food waste.
Kansas
  • Kansas Recycles provides users with an easy and comprehensive destination to locate recycling options in all areas of Kansas based on a database and interactive map technology.
  • Keep Kansas Beautiful is the local affiliate of the national Keep America Beautiful organization, with information on recycling and composting opportunities.
Missouri
  • The Green Dining Alliance is a restaurant sustainability certification program that works with restaurants to reduce their environmental impact by completing an on-site audit that evaluates all areas of operations, and setting personalized goals.
Nebraska
  • WasteCap Nebraska is a statewide, member-based, nonprofit organization providing education, training and services to help businesses and communities reach their full potential to eliminate waste.

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Past Recognition Events

Newton, Kansas - Sand Creek Station Golf Course, June 24, 2013

Region 7 presented an award to the City of Newton, Kansas, for efforts to reduce waste and recycle materials at the city-owned Sand Creek Station Golf Course. Among other achievements in 2012, the City of Newton diverted approximately 24 tons of waste from landfills through waste prevention and recycling programs at the golf course. Learn more.

St Louis Cardinals, April 29, 2013

Region 7 recognized the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club for efforts to divert, donate and compost food waste around Busch Stadium in an on-field ceremony prior to the Cardinals-Reds game. Learn more.

Kansas City Chiefs, April 8, 2013

Region 7 and the Kansas City Chiefs announced Extra Yard for the Environment, the football club's sustainability initiative. The program is designed to devise and implement new green policies for the Kansas City Chiefs while raising awareness for green efforts at Arrowhead Stadium, the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex, and for fans at home. Learn more.

Haskell Indian Nations University, November 10, 2015

Region 7 and Haskell Indian Nations University conducted a food waste sort as a part of the University’s ongoing food recovery efforts.  Learn More.

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Watch Region 7's Food Recovery Stories

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Sign up for the Region 7 Community Digest Newsletter

The Region 7 Community Digest Newsletter contains information about upcoming events, webinars, grant opportunities and more. Check out the latest edition and learn how to subscribe to this newsletter.

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EPA Region 8: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming

Below are links to state and local environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and partnership organizations that provide information about food recovery, food rescue, food donation, community gardens, sustainability and recycling in Region 8 states: The following links exit the site Exit

State Resources
Colorado
  • Garfield County provides information about food rescue and resources through their LiveWell program.
  • Boulder Food Rescue is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a more just and less wasteful food system. They completed a Food Waste Audit in 2016 to provide information about the state of food waste in Boulder.
  • Denver Inner City Parish has one of the original and longest running programs offered by the Denver Inner City Parish.
  • Foraged Feast is a Denver-based nonprofit that collects locally grown food that would otherwise go unused or wasted and connects those nutritional food sources with the underserved of our community.
  • Food Rescue Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a more just and less wasteful food system. They redistribute food “waste” to agencies who serve hungry, homeless and low-income individuals while educating communities about food justice.
  • Denver Food Rescue is a nonprofit focused on improving health equity outcomes by increasing access to healthy foods in low income areas.
  • As an innovative provider of food for the hungry, We Don’t Waste collects excess food from venues, caterers, restaurants, and other food purveyors and distributes the food to Denver’s under-served populations.
  • Produce for Pantries encourages home, school and community gardeners to plant, grow and share produce with food pantries and hunger-relief organizations in their neighborhoods.
  • Colorado Springs Food Rescue volunteers sustainably recover food seven days a week from donor businesses around the Pikes Peak region and deliver it directly to local nonprofit partnership programs.
  • Denver Yard Harvest brings fresh produce that would otherwise go waste to people who might otherwise go without it, building community and learning more about the importance of healthy food and reducing waste.
Montana
  • Ecotrust Food Hub is an online platform that connects farmers, ranchers, fishermen and specialty producers with wholesale food buyers in their region.
  • Grow Montana is a broad-based food policy coalition whose common purpose is to promote community economic development and education policies that support sustainable Montana-owned food production, processing, and distribution, and that improve everyone’s access to healthy Montana foods.
  • Helena Community Gardens builds gardens, provides the tools and knowledge to grow food, and increases access to healthy and affordable food.
  • Montana to Farm Restaurant Connection works to increase the visibility of local producers that use sustainable agricultural techniques and the business establishments that carry their products.
  • Montana Food Bank Network is a nonprofit that works to end hunger in Montana through food acquisition and distribution, education and advocacy.
  • Montana Sustainable Growers Union is a group of local farmers who all farm within a 75 mile radius of Missoula and market in the state to promote buying homegrown goods.
North Dakota
  • Hunger Free North Dakota Garden Project is committed to addressing the hunger issue in North Dakota through the local foods initiative. They encourage farmers and gardeners to plant an extra acre or row of produce and donate fresh fruits and vegetable to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other charitable community programs.
  • Great Plains Food Bank works to end hunger in North Dakota and western Minnesota through community partnerships.
South Dakota
  • Feeding South Dakota (multiple chapters) works to eliminate hunger in South Dakota by working with communities, distributing food to those in need, and advocating at the state and federal level on behalf of the hungry.
Utah
  • The Utah Food Recovery Network recovers meals from college dining halls and delivers them to local partners to distribute to the community.
  • The Utah Food Bank Grocery Rescue Program is a strategic business alliance between Utah Food Bank and Utah retailers that provides a safe and efficient donation outlet for food that is nearing its expiration date, but is still safe, healthy and wholesome to eat.
  • Wasatch Food Waste Recovery works with hotels, restaurants, and other food waste producing companies to turn food waste into energy and fertilizer using anaerobic digestion.
  • EcoScraps  recycles food scraps into organic and sustainable lawn and garden products.
Wyoming
  • Hole Food Rescue is a nonprofit organization that works to reduce food waste and food insecurity in their community.

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EPA Region 9: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam and American Samoa

Food recovery work in southern Nevada, food recovery guides for certain cities, partnering organization websites and key contacts for EPA Region 9 are listed below:

Southern Nevada Food Recovery Work

On September 30, 2015, a Southern Nevada Food and Organics Recovery Workshop was hosted by U.S. EPA, the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, the Environmental Finance Center West and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, in Las Vegas. This workshop brought together 36 representatives from the private sector, government agencies, non-profit organizations and academia to explore opportunities and barriers to the recovery of wasted food and other organic wastes generated in Southern Nevada.

Local Food Recovery Guides, Partnering Organizations and Key Contacts

Below are food recovery guides for certain cities in Region 9 along with links to partner organizations and contact information for key Region 9 partners: The following links exit the site Exit

State Local Food Recovery Guides Partnering Organizations and Key Contacts
Arizona

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Waste Programs: Solid Waste Section

J.B. Shaw
(602) 771-5613
js15@azdeq.gov

California

California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) Organic Materials Management

Bob Horowitz
(916) 341-6452
Robert.Horowitz@CalRecycle.ca.gov

Hawaii

Hawaii Department of Health Office of Solid Waste Management

Lene Ichinotsubo
(808) 586-7497
lene.ichinotsubo@doh.hawaii.gov

Nevada

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection Bureau of Waste Management

Northern Nevada Recycling Coordinator: Patricia Moen
(775) 687-9466
pmoen@dcnr.nv.gov

Southern Nevada Recycling Coordinator: Rachel Lewison
(702) 486-2850 x268
rlewison@dcnr.nv.gov

Pacific Islands None available

U.S. EPA Region 9 Pacific Islands Office

John McCarroll
(415) 972-3774
mccarroll.john@epa.gov

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EPA Region 10: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington

Below are links to state environmental agencies, non-profit organizations and universities that provide information about composting, recycling, food rescue, source reduction, food donation and waste reduction in Region 10 states:

The following links exit the site Exit

State State Environmental Agency Organizations
Alaska

Division of Environmental Health Solid Waste Program

 
Idaho

Department of Environmental Quality Solid Waste Rules and Regulations

Department of Environmental Quality Pollution Prevention Guidelines

  • Information from the City of Boise on curbside compost collection
  • Oregon

Department of Environmental Quality Environmental Impacts of Food Waste Management

Oregon 2050 Vision for Materials Management

Washington Department of Ecology’s recommendations for food waste prevention

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Resources Relevant to All Regions

Below are links to resources that may help you find information in your community about recycling, pollution prevention, food rescue, food donation and composting:The following links exit the site Exit

  • Ample Harvest allows you to search food pantries by zip code and shows the location on an interactive map.  
  • The Campus Kitchen Project partners with high schools, colleges and universities to share on-campus kitchen space, recover food from cafeterias and engage students as volunteers who prepare and deliver meals to the community.
  • Earth’s 911 provides local resources on recycling, pollution prevention and environmental information based on your zip code.
  • Feeding America has a map of their own Feeding America member food banks. Some of these food banks might have a minimum donation size requirement for pick up.  
  • Find a Composter near you using this tool.
  • Find a Food Pantry near you using this tool.
  • Food Connect helps organizations with excess food find local charities who can use the food.
  • Food Cowboy connects wholesalers to charities to recover rejected food deliveries.
  • The Food Recovery Network recovers meals from college dining halls and delivers them to local partners to distribute to the community.
  • This Homeless Shelter Directory allows you to search homeless shelters and services by city.
  • MEANS is a live match making map where donors can post donations and non-profits can get alerts.
  • Rock and Wrap It Up’s Hungerpedia is a live downloadable directory of agencies in need of contributions.
  • Find your state's health and environmental agencies for more information.
  • Sustainable America has a live interactive map of food rescue non-profits that can take your donations.

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Disclaimer of Endorsement

Reference herein 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. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. The examples included in the following sections are for informational purposes only.

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