EPA Recognizes Governments, Organizations and Businesses for Outstanding Waste Reduction Efforts
In November, the EPA recognized 29 governments, organizations, and businesses for outstanding waste reduction efforts. As part of the EPA’s WasteWise program and its Food Recovery Challenge, participants were given access to resources and support to encourage collaboration on a variety of initiatives that decrease the quantity of food waste. This comes at a crucial time when the United States has the ability to lead the way for economic and environmental improvements surrounding municipal and industrial wastes.
In addition to the 29 recognized organizations, nearly 800 others participated in one or more of these challenges, paving the way for a nationwide waste mitigation effort. Winners came from a variety of industries and backgrounds, but all showed innovation and commitment to this goal, becoming trailblazers in their individual sectors through source reduction, leadership, innovation, education and outreach, and endorsement. Sectors include grocers, K-12 schools, restaurants and food service providers, and sports and entertainment venues.
Among the 2015 Food Recovery Challenge National Award Winners was Ortega National Parks, LLC: White Sands Trading Company, Alamogordo, New Mexico. Ortega leveraged the power of data by monitoring itsr garbage, recyclables, and food waste to drive hospitality and spark change , realizing the highest waste diversion rate in their sector in 2014. Additionally, Ortega regularly donates coffee grounds to local gardens and unused food to local food banks. Other winners include the University California (UC),; the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; and Sprouts Farmers Market: 24.
Congratulations to all the winners!