Food Waste

State Activities

The following information represents a sampling of State food waste reduction/recovery/ donation activities:

California – CalRecycle:
Organics Materials Management, Food Scraps Management

Massachusetts – Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs:
Commercial Food Waste Disposal Ban

Massachusetts – RecyclingWorks:
Food Donation Guidance

Source Separation Guidance – described as Best Management Practices (BMPs) for use by health agents to support and inform local oversight of commercial food waste collection programs. These BMPs are also intended to serve as a resource to businesses and institutions and their haulers.

New York – NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Organics Materials Management, Food Scraps Management, Reducing Wasted Food

South Carolina – Department of Health and Environmental Control:
Don’t Waste Food S.C./Food Recovery Initiative
Collaborative efforts bringing together public and private stakeholders dedicated to working together to help reduce food waste in South Carolina.

Vermont – Department of Environmental Conservation:
Food Donation in Vermont

Washington – Department of Ecology:
Organics Materials Management – Food Waste Prevention

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

There is a vast amount of information and resources available through EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food webpage:

Topics include the Food Recovery Hierarchy, Food Recovery Challenge, U.S. 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal, A Call to Action by Stakeholders and Tools and Resources for Individuals and Businesses/Organizations.

Highlights from EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food webpage include:

Call to Action by Stakeholders: United States Food Loss & Waste 2030 Reduction Goal

The federal government, led by EPA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is seeking to work with communities, organizations and businesses along with their partners in State, tribal and local government to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent over the next 15 years. Based on input received during the 2015 Food Recovery Summit (see link elsewhere on this page) and continued input, EPA, USDA and stakeholders from across the food chain have developed a collaborative Call to Action, which identifies current opportunities and challenges in reducing food loss and waste in the United States.

EPA SMM Web Academy

Find out about upcoming and past EPA webinars on food recovery topics on the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy webpage:

Managing and Transforming Waste Streams – A Tool for Communities features a table of 100 measures (including food management options) communities can employ to reduce waste and recover materials.

Food Recovery Summits

2015 Food Recovery Summit, November 16-18, 2015 in Charleston, SC
Sponsored by The Southeast Development Recycling Council (SERDC) in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and BioCycle.

Reduce and Recover: Save Food for the People, June 28-29, 2016, Boston, MA
Co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School, Food Law and Policy Clinic, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and RecyclingWorks Massachusetts.

Pacific Southwest Food Recovery Summit, August 8, 2016, Sacramento, CA
Co-sponsored by the California Resource Recovery Association and EPA, as part of the broader annual California Resource Recovery Association Conference on August 7-10, 2016.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) participates with EPA in the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.

Along with information about the Challenge, the Department’s website highlights USDA Activities in food waste, one of which is a 2014 commitment to update food date labeling information on the Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s website.

The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States:

Food and Drug Administration

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes the Food Code, a model that assists food control jurisdictions at all levels of government by providing them with a scientifically sound technical and legal basis for regulating the retail and food service segment of the industry (restaurants and grocery stores, and institutions such as nursing homes). State, local, tribal, and federal regulators use the FDA Food Code as a model to develop or update their own food safety rules and to be consistent with national food regulatory policy.

Surplus, Salvaged, and Donated Foods: Safety Tips:

Other Organizations

U.S. Congress – Legislative Activities

Public Law 104-210, October 1, 1996 – Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

The text of the Public Law and its legislative history, including the Committee Report, is available at:

Legislation Introduced in the 114th Congress (2015-2016)

Food Waste Accountability:

H.R. 4382 – Food Waste Accountability Act of 2016, introduced by Representative Jerry McNerney (D-CA) on 1/16/16.

Food Waste Recovery:

H.R. 4184 – Food Recovery Act of 2015, introduced by Representative Chellie Pingree on 12/7/15:

S. 3108 – Food Recovery Act of 2016, introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on 6/29/16:

Food Date Labeling:

H.R. 5298 – Food Date Labeling Act of 2016, introduced by Representative Chellie Pingree on 5/19/16:

S. 2947 – Food Date Labeling Act of 2016, introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal on 5/18/16:

House Agriculture Committee Hearing:

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on May 25, 2016 on the topic, “Food Waste from Field to Table”. The link to the hearing webpage, which includes testimony and the archived webcast of the hearing is:


Food Cowboy (operates in the United States)
According to its website: Food Cowboy Foundation’s mission is to help food companies, charities, consumers and entrepreneurs collaborate to reduce hunger and protect the environment by reducing food waste. The Foundation promotes the highest use of wholesome unmarketable food and reduces hunger and waste by using technology, social media and strategic investment to help bridge the logistics gap and economics hurdles that result in food waste.

Too Good To Go UK (operates in the United Kingdom and other countries)
According to its website, the Too Good To Go app and website can be used to order food from local restaurants, cafes and bakeries and picked up at a time before closing time in an environmentally-friendly box. The app was founded in Denmark and Too Good to Go UK is operating in the United Kingdom. As of August 2016, Too Good To Go has foundations in six different countries.

OLIO (operates in the United Kingdom)
According to its website, OLIO is a free app that connects neighbors with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.