Commercial Food Waste Reduction

According to ReFED, each year businesses in the US throw away 25 million tons of food, and spend roughly $57 billion dollars on growing, processing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never consumed. Decreasing the volume of wasted food can reduce the overall cost of business operations and increase operational efficiency. Keeping food waste out of landfills can also mitigate significant greenhouse gas emissions and enable a range of beneficial end uses, from feeding the hungry to resource recovery through composting.  The USEPA prioritizes methods of food waste reduction in the food recovery hierarchy (shown below). Commercial entities have several options to cut down on their food waste including source reduction, donation and composting; however, knowing where to start can be daunting.  Below are some resources to help.

Resources for Institutional Kitchens

Resources for Food Manufacturers and Retailers

Source Reduction-Guidance

Food Donation-Guidance

Food Separation-Guidance

Contracting for Trash, Recycling, and Food Waste Service-Guidance