Focusing on the source of waste is the first step businesses can take in reducing food waste, wasted energy, and wasted money. Businesses can conduct a waste audit to help identify what is being thrown away, and why. Once this has been identified, businesses can implement waste reduction strategies that can ultimately reduce purchasing, disposal, and labor costs, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to a sustainable community.
This calculator from the EPA can help businesses estimate the cost competiteveness of source reduction, donation, composting, and recycling FOG materials as opposed to disposing of food in the landfill waste stream. There are also paper tracking waste logs from the EPA that can help businesses track waste.
Businesses can also consult this “Zero Waste Purchasing Guide,” to help reduce their generation of waste. Zero Waste is a “no waste”, sustainable approach to managing the production and lifecycle of goods and products. A Zero Waste restaurant, school, venue or event maximizes recycling (including composting) and minimizes landfillable waste. Through maximizing recycling efforts at gatherings and events upwards of 75% or more of the waste stream can be diverted to recycling and/or composting.
National Campaigns and Resources
- Food Loss and Waste Protocol
- Further with Food: Center for Food Loss and Waste Solutions
- EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge