Across the country, millions of tons of food are wasted each year. In Central Ohio, it’s estimated that Franklin County residents and businesses landfill approximately 12.8% of the material by weight or 143,616 tons . Food waste diversion in Central Ohio is currently measured at a rate of 7.2%. There are opportunities to increase the current diversion rate through the development of prevention, recovery (or rescue) and recycling opportunities.
In order to reduce food waste, there are three solutions types – prevention, rescue and recycling. Solutions developed on all three areas are important to maintain a sustainable food waste diversion system in communities.
Food waste prevention activities stop waste from occurring in the first place. Embracing habits as individuals and standard protocols for businesses that encourage smart planning, preparation and storage of food can reduce waste being generated.
Food waste recycling is repurposing waste as energy, agricultural, and other products. A common food waste recycling practice is composting. Homeowners can compost in their backyards while communities and private businesses operate large-scale facilities to process both food and yard waste. For more information on backyard composting, click here.
Food waste rescue involves redistributing food to people. According to Feeding America, 72 billion pounds of safe, edible food goes to waste each year. Local organizations like the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Community Plates, Food Rescue US and others, work to redistribute food to those who can benefit from it.
Infographic source: https://www.nrdc.org/resources/wasted-how-america-losing-40-percent-its-food-farm-fork-landfill