Congressional Conference on the Farm Bill: What is at Stake for Food Waste?
Capitol Building
Monday, August 13, 2018

With the U.S. Senate voting on July 31 to join the House of Representatives in conference on their respective Farm Bills, the two houses face major challenges to resolve the wide gaps in many elements. Reauthorized every 5 years or so, the Farm Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that affects all facets of the American food supply.

RCRA and Retail: Considering the Fate of Consumer Aerosol Cans
Author
Environmental Law Institute
Date Released
May 2018
RCRA and Retail: Considering the Fate of Consumer Aerosol Cans

Minimizing waste generation includes diverting waste streams to reuse and recycling as well as recapturing materials. In devising new approaches for the management of materials and the diversion of wastes under RCRA, federal regulators can draw on their knowledge and years of experience working with particular sectors and materials. In the retail sector, managing discarded and returned consumer aerosol cans can hit the "tripwire" for RCRA ignitability, requiring their management as hazardous waste.

Paper or Bio-Plastic? Innovative Packaging to Prevent Food Loss
Innovations in food packaging create opportunities to reduce food loss (Pixabay)
Monday, April 9, 2018

It’s well known that up to 40% of food in the United States goes to waste. As a result, a large portion of the blue water utilized in agricultural irrigation ends up back in the ground—not in aquifers, but in landfills. While the majority of food waste in the United States is attributable to the disposal of safe, edible foods, a considerable amount of food that goes to landfill is “lost” due to spoilage or food being otherwise deemed unfit for human use.

Analyzing the Food Rescue Landscape in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee (Wikimedia Commons)
Monday, November 20, 2017

Some say leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. While that may be true, the rest of the year, there are ample missed opportunities to donate surplus prepared foods from institutions and restaurants. Realizing these opportunities is an important way to waste less food and feed more people, because up to 40% of food (along with the water, energy, and land used in production) goes to waste every year in the United States. At the same time, over 13% of Americans—one in eight—experience food insecurity.

FOOD WASTE: Onsite Food Waste Pre-processing Systems: Is Recycling Really Happening?
By Taz [CC BY 2.0 (http:/creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia C
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Recycling food waste through composting and anaerobic digestion has the greatest potential by far to reduce the quantity of food waste going to landfills over the next 15 years relative to food waste reduction and reuse, according to ReFED. However, as more cities and states institute landfill food waste bans and other programs to promote recycling, the demand for centralized organic processing facilities is outpacing the supply. To address the gap, vendors are actively marketing to commercial customers new onsite pre-processing systems, including dehydrators, pulpers, and biodigesters. The systems can save money by reducing or eliminating off-site hauling of food waste and are well suited to facilities short on space and staff time. But the question arises: are the nutrients and energy in food waste really being recycled?  The answer depends upon the next stage of processing.

FOOD WASTE: “Smart Technology” Promises to Revolutionize Recycling
Enevo Sensor System
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Imagine the dumpsters behind restaurant row in your community signaling their hauling company to come pick them up because they are full and about to overflow, or their food is rotting and about to stink up the neighborhood. Such are the promises for waste management of new “smart technologies,” based on sensors, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, big data, and social networks.