The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday recognized the waste reduction accomplishments of 29 participants in and endorsers of EPA’s WasteWise program and EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, including the Philadelphia Prison System for food recovery.
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.
The Philadelphia Prison system consists of six facilities with an average daily inmate population of 8,250 and approximately 2,600 employees. The Riverside Correctional Facility and House of Corrections facilities together produce 1.35 tons of wasted food a day, which is now being sent to a composting facility, saving the city $31,000 per year in landfill fees.
Finished compost is donated to the local community and used in the Philadelphia Prisons Orchard Program, which produces fruit for the prison system and for donation, as well as providing a job training opportunity for inmates.
EPA provides tools, resources and support to help participants establish baselines, set objectives, track progress and realize their waste prevention and 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.”For more information, visit EPA’s 2015 Food Recovery Challenge Winners webpage.