The United States spends about 1 billion dollars a year just to dispose of food waste. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food leftovers are the single-largest component of the waste stream by weight in the United States. Food waste includes uneaten food and food preparation scraps from residences or households, commercial establishments like restaurants, institutional sources like school cafeterias, and industrial sources like factory lunchrooms.
Nationally, numerous organizations are taking part in Food Waste diversion. Doug Rauch, founder of the Daily Table, a grocery store in Dorchester, MA, aims to provide nutritious food at a price that is affordable for the community. The store rethinks the expiration dates on food, which are less about actual food safety and more about display. The store repurposes 15-30,000 lbs. of food per week thus cutting Food Waste. The grocery store also helps boost healthy eating in the community.
Locally, Californina, and the City of Los Angeles have taken the next steps toward achieving Zero Waste goals.
Beginning January 1, 2016, local jurisdictions are required to implement an organic waste recycling program to divert organic waste from businesses. With the passing of A B 1826 (Chesbro, Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014) new organics recycling requirements will be phased in over the next several years to the help the California meet its goal of recycling 75% of its waste by 2020.
For more information on mandatory commercial organics recycling, visit CalRecycle’s webpage, www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial/organics/.