Colleges, Elder Care Facility Achieve EPA Awards For Recycling

In November of 2013, as part of America Recycles Day, two schools in Massachusetts and an elder care center in Connecticut were honored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their efforts in keeping waste food out of landfills and distributing waste fit for human consumption it to local agencies that work to feed the economically disadvantaged and hungry. Each year, over thirty million tons of food waste is generated in the United States and only three percent of that total waste is composted or re-used.

The award winning facilities were the University of Massachusetts (Amherst campus), Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Orchards in Southington, Connecticut, an assisted care facility.

The Food Recovery Challenge, sponsored by the EPA, encourages organizations and businesses to reduce the amount of food they purchase and dispose of and to divert extra or waste food to feed to non-profit food banks or composting and animal feed initiatives. In the New England region, more than fifty private businesses, non-profits groups, schools, hospitals, and government agencies participates in the challenge during 2013.

The University of Massachusetts used several strategies for reducing food waste including tray-less dining, compostable cutlery, and a student-run composting business. The University is currently constructing an anaerobic digestion facility for on-site processing and will be used by other communities in addition to the University to produce green energy. Facilities  for anaerobic digestion capture the gas created by composting food and convert it into electricity.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business is paying money every month to send waste food and food scraps to a landfill, you may be missing out on an opportunity to reduce your waste disposal expenditures, protect your region’s environment, and help help your less fortunate members in your community.