Food Recovery Challenge and WasteWise Program Participants Recognized

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Posted: Sunday, February 1, 2015 5:47 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the accomplishments of organizations and businesses participating in EPA's Food Recovery Challenge and WasteWise program for reducing their climate footprint, improving efficiency, helping communities and achieving cost savings through waste reduction. These programs save money, protect the environment and feed the hungry.

β€œIn 2013, EPA's Food Recovery Challenge participants diverted more than 370,000 tons of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators. Of this total, more than 36,000 tons of food was donated to feed people in need, which equates to nearly 56 million meals,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. β€œI commend the efforts of our award winners and encourage others to follow their lead by joining the Food Recovery Challenge. These leaders demonstrate that protecting the environment, saving money and feeding the hungry can go hand in hand.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that wasted food costs America more than $165 billion annually and that the average family of four throws away $1,600 of food each year. The Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers, through innovation and hard work, have greatly reduced wasted food. Food pantries, food rescue programs, local food banks, soup kitchens and shelters are benefitting from donations of wholesome and nutritious food, helping feed people, not landfills.

EPA presented 23 awards to Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers in two categories: data-driven and narrative. The data-driven award recipients achieved the highest percentage of wasted food diversion and prevention. The narrative award winners excelled in areas of source reduction, leadership, innovation, education and outreach, and endorsement.

Food Recovery Challenge participants include groups such as grocers, educational institutions, sports and entertainment venues, and hospitality businesses. Participants are not only benefitting their bottom line, they are reducing hunger through innovative community partnerships.

The EPA also recognized 14 WasteWise participants, which include research institutes, retailers and local governments. The WasteWise program helps organizations and businesses apply sustainable materials management practices to reduce municipal and industrial wastes.

WasteWise participants reported preventing and diverting a total of nearly 7.6 million tons of waste from being disposed in landfills or incinerators in 2013. This amount of waste diversion represents a reduction in greenhouse gases equivalent to taking more than 2.3 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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