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Food Waste National Success Stories

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  1. Food WasteNational Success Stories Chris Newman US EPA Region 5 Chicago, IL

  2. Agenda • Overview • Food waste hierarchy • Programs across the nation • Past Region 5 grants

  3. Resource Conservation Challenge • The RCC’s goal is to conserve resources and energy by managing materials more efficiently • Goal is to recycle 35% of America’s MSW • Organic wastes are included in this • Working to: • Reduce food waste generation • Provide information about why recycling is more efficient than disposal • Support markets for organic wastes

  4. The Numbers • Over twenty five percent of the food in the United States is lost • Approximately 97 billion pounds of food—about 3,000 pounds per second—is wasted in the US each year • Food waste is the third largest component of the waste stream by weight • Food scraps make up almost 12 percent of all the MSW generated in the United States • Less than 3 percent of food waste is recovered.

  5. The Numbers • The impact: • Food waste losses account for up to $100 billion per year; • $30-40 billion occurring within the commercial or retail sector (e.g., restaurants, convenience stores) • $20 billion from farming and food processing. • The energy used to produce wasted food is 2% of the total US energy use • The decomposition of food in landfills produces methane • Methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. • Landfills are the second largest human-related source of methane in the United States • Landfills accounts for 20% of all methane emissions.

  6. The Numbers • Food waste is uneaten food and food preparation scraps from: • Residences or households • Commercial establishments like restaurants • Institutional sources like school cafeterias • Industrial sources like factory lunchrooms

  7. Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy • Promotes productive use of excess food • Source Reduction – Reduce the volume of food waste generated • Feed People – Donate extra food to food banks, soup kitchens and shelters • Feed Animals – Provide food to farmers • Industrial Uses – Provide fats for rendering and food discards for animal feed production, or anaerobic digestion combined with soil amendment production or composting of the residuals • Composting – Convert food scraps into a nutrient rich soil amendment

  8. Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy • Source Reduction • Conduct a waste audit • Reduce pre-consumer kitchen waste • 4% to 10% is wasted before it reaches the guest, ie. spoiled, expired, trim waste • Reduce post-consumer waste • Portion control, trayless dining, menu modification • Resouce: • Don't Throw Away That Food: Strategies for Record-Setting Waste Reduction • Putting Surplus Food to Good Use: A How-To Guide for Food Service Providers

  9. Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy • Feed hungry people • 49 million Americans at risk for hunger • Non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food can be donated • Food banks – warehousing • Food rescue – recovery and distribution of perishable and prepared food • Tax benefits • Protection from liability • Food donation act • Food bank quality control

  10. Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy • Feed animals • A variety of foods can be used • Meat or animal material must be boiled at a registered facility • State reg’s may apply • Industrial uses • Rendering of meats and fats • FOGS to energy

  11. Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy • Composting • Aerated Windrow/Pile • In-vessel • Unaerated static pile • Vermicomposting • Anaerobic digestion • Interest is increasing • Improves compost recipe • Increases anaerobic digestion gas production

  12. Food Waste Management Cost Calculator • Calculator estimates the cost competitiveness of alternatives to food waste disposal • Source reduction, donation, composting, and recycling of yellow grease. • Develops an alternative food waste management scenario based on: • Your waste profile • Availability of diversion methods • Preferences • Compares cost estimates for a disposal versus an alternative scenario. • Demonstrates that environmentally and socially responsible food waste management is cost-effective for many facilities and waste streams. • Good information about current waste management costs improve accuracy • Default values are provided Available at: Webinar presentations at:

  13. WARM Results • Waste Reduction Model (WARM) helps track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from several different waste management practices. • WARM calculates and totals GHG emissions of baseline and alternative waste management • Results below are from 44 Kroger stores from 7/2008 to 10/2010

  14. CoEAT CoEAT - Co-Digestion Economic Analysis Tool • Initial economic feasibility of food waste co-digestion at wastewater treatment plants for biogas production. • Fixed and recurring costs • Solid waste diversion savings • Capital investments • Biogas production and associated energy value

  15. East Bay Municipal Utility District • Wastewater Treatment Facility in San Francisco • Digester has excess capacity • Receiving less waste water • Decrease in industry • Increase in pretreatment • Found food waste has 3X methane generation potential of muni wastewater • Digesting 100tpd, 5d/week generated enough energy to power 1,000 homes

  16. Outpost Foods, Wisconsin • Outpost Foods – Milwaukee, WI • Goal to look at landfill alternatives • Looked at alternatives using food waste disposers • Reduced food waste sent to landfills by sending it to anaerobic digesters • Sewer and pumper truck were used to transport the waste • With methane value added, they saw that adding the to slurry the digester was the most cost efficient • Without the methane value land filling was the most expensive, followed by slurry hauling and the sewer disposal • Getting the water content of the slurry low enough was seen as a way to improve the technique •

  17. High Solids Digestion • There is interest in high solids digestion • 55% to 70% moisture • Leachate recirculation • Produces methane from the decomposition of organics, just with less water • Some systems are being built resembling landfill cells

  18. Programs Across the US • San Francisco • San Francisco has a 75% city wide recycling goal • Over 2,000 businesses are participating • System handles: • Animal • Vegetable • Soiled paper products • Manages over 300 tons of biodegradable waste a day • Ordinance requires participation of food service industry

  19. Programs Across the US • Massachusetts supermarket composting • Running for several years • Helps deal with high waste management costs • Program provides certification/support materials • Numbers • 54 stores were generating approx 54,000 tons of waste/year • 2/3’s was being recycled – 26k tons cardboard and 9k tons of organics to composting facilities • Incentive – local waste disposal fees of $80-$100/ton • 200 stores were diverting organics to reuse and recycling • Savings were $3k to $20k/year • Nationally interest is increasing • Walmart has rolled out food waste management nationally • Kroger, Giant Eagle, and others are also composting in their stores

  20. Programs Across the US • Ohio EPA is working to reduce waste and increase recycling at supermarkets • Ohio regulations are relatively clear • Allow for a variety of materials to be composted • Bringing together stakeholders from: • Supermarkets • Waste industry • Composting industry

  21. Ohio Mapping Project • Ohio EPA and US EPA project. • Interactive mapping of food waste composting facilities and food waste generators • Grocery stores, venues and universities, plus landfills and transfer stations. • Users can zoom in to look at a particular area • Compost sites (green stars), and relate this to generators (white and yellow grocery carts) and landfills and transfer stations (purple dots and triangles). • Uses data in the database and Google Earth, particularly for generators such as restaurants and hotels. • Project helps generators find composters that can compost their food scraps, or help composters and haulers identify potential sources of material for composting. •

  22. Past Food Waste Grants • Michigan Recycling Coalition • Region 5 funded a revision to their compost operator training manual to include food waste • Insights: • Food waste composting should be considered as part of the waste management contract, not as an add on • The compost industry must be the advocate for the program, i.e. policy, programs, and outreach •

  23. Past Food Waste Grants • Ohio DNR • Started looking at food waste diversion in northern Ohio • Looked at who and how networks can be setup to manage food waste. • Economics provided a challenge, landfilling is $40-$50/ton • Efficiencies seen as key to success • Collecting multiple materials • Sensible routes • Who receives the tipping fees from landfilling could be a disincentive for programs to start • Generators need close relationships with the composter • This could change the traditional contracting relationship

  24. Past Food Waste Grants Ecoconservation Institute: • In-depth research of leading food waste programs in North America • Develop tool kit for food collection technology transfer • BMPs • Information rate setting • Collection methods • Pitfalls to avoid • Outreach • Webinars, presentations, outreach on the toolkit • More information on federal grants: Total programs by state Program Type/Availability

  25. Residential Management • Backyard composting • Good option for self management of organics • Provides homeowner with compost • Comparison of costs and participation rates of home composting vs. collection • Vermicomposting • Can be done in a small space • Can be done inside

  26. Compost Markets Stormwater BMPs • Compost berms, blankets & socks can be used to manage stormwater • Retains water • Support seed germination and plant growth • Can remove pollutants such as heavy metals; nitrogen; phosphorus; oil and grease; and fuel, from stormwater, • •

  27. Regulation in Illinois • Regulation and Permits • Illinois EPA has the authority to: • Set regulations • Give siting responsibility to local governments • Contacts are:

  28. Remarks • Food scraps are managed successfully in many parts of the US • We are seeing lots of innovation • At this point systems are set up to best fit: • Needs of the local market • Requirements of regulations • All involved in waste management should be at the table when planning • Keep an open mind when planning, look at all of the options

  29. Contact Information Chris Newman US EPA Region 5 312-353-8402