Food Waste in Cities
Up to 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted, contributing to extensive environmental, economic, and societal impacts. But solutions to the enormous challenge of food waste can create equally extensive benefits, particularly at the local level. By reducing the amount of food that is thrown out, cities can stabilize their waste management costs and make progress toward climate and sustainability goals. By rescuing surplus food, municipalities can address food gaps in local communities. And by recycling food scraps, cities can minimize what goes into landfills and incinerators.
The Food Matters project at NRDC partners with cities to achieve meaningful reductions in food waste through comprehensive policies and programs. Currently we’re partnering with city agencies and local collaborators in Denver and Baltimore to drive dramatic, system-wide waste reduction. This work builds on our deep involvement in cities including Nashville and New York City. A key component of the Food Matters initiative is peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing—providing a network in which best practices can be shared and evolved.
With NRDC’s deep technical expertise and lessons learned from model cities, Food Matters is catalyzing the creation of replicable city-based solutions, helping to standardize market-supported best practices, and spurring meaningful progress in cities like Baltimore and Denver.