On May 9, Gillette Stadium hosted RecyclingWorks in MA, MassDEP, and US EPA for the WasteWise Spring Forum on food recovery across the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy.
The forum started with remarks from John Fischer, Branch Chief, Commercial Waste Reduction & Waste Planning at the MassDEP. John provided an update for attendees on solid waste management in Massachusetts, highlighting the increased capacity to process food waste due to anaerobic digestion and food depackaging. For more, see our recent blog posts on anaerobic digestion and depackaging!
The WasteWise Spring Forum also featured a panel on food recovery programs at Massachusetts businesses and institutions. The panelists emphasized various features of their programs across the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy from source reduction initiatives to composting and industrial uses. Thank you to the panelists who presented on the food recovery programs at their organizations:
- Bronson Green, Gillette Stadium
- Karen Franczyk, Whole Foods
- Jamieson Jacquart, UMass Dartmouth
- Christopher Wheeler, Patriot Place
Forum attendees learned about many options for diverting food scraps and surplus from disposal, as well as how to evaluate the potential impact of food waste diversion on operating costs. Heather Billings from RecyclingWorks provided a number of best practices regarding how to evaluate the impact of a food waste diversion program on an organization’s bottom line. As a first step, Heather recommended using the RecyclingWorks Food Waste Estimation Guide to get a rough idea of how much food your organization disposes of. She also provided tips on how to reduce the amount of food purchased, factoring in tax benefits from food donation, and working with your hauler to maximize the cost-effectiveness of the program.
The forum also included a presentation on Gillette Stadium’s waste diversion initiatives. It concluded with a tour of the stadium and the Grind2Energy system that converts the stadium’s food scraps into pulp for anaerobic digestion.
Presentations from the forum are available on the RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts website. For assistance starting a food recovery program, contact the RecyclingWorks hotline at (888) 254-5525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.