The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the waste reduction accomplishments of 29 participants in and endorsers of EPA’s Waste Wise program and EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. These collaborative initiatives apply sustainable materials management practices to decrease wasted food and municipal and industrial wastes in the United States, leading to economic and environmental improvements. EPA provides tools, resources and support to help participants establish baselines, set objectives, track progress and realize their waste reduction goals. EPA reviews the data submitted by participants by employing an extensive quality assurance process.
“Food Recovery Challenge participants diverted nearly 606,000 tons of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators in 2014, nearly 88,600 tons of which were donated to people in need,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “These innovative efforts will help us achieve our ambitious national wasted food reduction goal – a 50 percent reduction by 2030. I encourage other organizations to follow their lead by joining the Food Recovery Challenge.”
In 2014, nearly 800 governments, businesses and organizations participated in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, including grocers, educational institutions, sports and entertainment venues and restaurants. These entities diverted wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators through a variety of innovative actions, including creative re-use of trimmings by university dining staff; donating excess, wholesome food to food banks, shelters and soup kitchens; composting in urban settings; and using wasted food to produce electricity.
EPA recognizes Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers with awards in two categories: data-driven and narrative. The data-driven award recipients achieved the highest percent of wasted food diversion and prevention in their sector in 2014. Narrative award winners excelled in the areas of source reduction, leadership, innovation, education and outreach, and endorsement.
2015 Food Recovery Challenge National Award Winners
Data-driven Improvement by Sectors
- Colleges and Universities: Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts
- K-12 Schools: Pearl City High School, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Grocers: Sprouts Farmers Market: 24, Tucson, Arizona
- Hospitality: Ortega National Parks, LLC: White Sands Trading Company, Alamogordo, New Mexico
- Restaurants and Food Service Providers: Serendipity Catering, Denver, Colorado
- Sports and Entertainment Venues: SAVOR…Chicago-McCormick Place South, Chicago Illinois
- Other Organization: Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Theo Lacy Facility, Orange, California
- Source Reduction Winner: University California (UC), Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California
- Source Reduction Honorable Mention: Clark University, Worchester, Massachusetts
- Leadership Winner: MB Financial Park at Rosemont/Village of Rosemont, Rosemont, Illinois
- Innovation Winner: Crystal Creamery, Modesto, California
- Innovation Honorable Mention: City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Prison System, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
- Education and Outreach Winner: Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire
- Endorser Winner: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
WasteWise participants also reported impressive results in 2014, preventing and diverting more than 6.7 million tons of municipal and industrial waste from being disposed. These colleges and universities, federal, local and tribal governments, businesses and non-profit organizations implemented a variety of waste prevention and recycling initiatives to both reduce waste and increase efficiencies throughout their operations.
EPA recognizes exceptional WasteWise participants for their annual improvement, overall improvement and waste prevention performance by sector in 2014. Additionally, the endorser award recognizes outstanding efforts to promote WasteWise as a means to help organizations reduce waste and promote overall sustainable materials management.
2015 WasteWise Program Awardees
- Federal Government Winner: U.S. Postal Service Headquarters Facilities, Orlando, Florida
- Federal Government Honorable Mention: The Presidio Trust, San Francisco, California
- Tribal Government Winner: Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, California
- Local Government Winner: City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Small Business Winner: Exel Lockport, Lockport, New York
- Small Business Honorable Mention: Command Packaging, Vernon, California
- Mid-Size Business Winner: Madison Precision Products, Madison, Indiana
- Large Business Winner: Commonwealth Edison Company, Terrace, Illinois
- Large Business Honorable Mention: Rooms to Go, Suwanee, Georgia
- Very Large Business Winner: Toyota Motor North America, Torrance, California
- Very Large Business Honorable Mention: Kohl’s Department Stores, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
- College and University Winner: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
- College and University Winner: Clark University, Worchester, Massachusetts
- Non-profit Organization Winner: Cannon Grange #152, Wilton, Connecticut
- Endorser Winner: Global Fiberglass Solutions, Inc., Bellevue, Washington
For more information on WasteWise: http://www3.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/smm/wastewise/
For more information on the Food Recovery Challenge: http://www2.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food