A business and several government organizations in San Diego County were honored Wednesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for programs that keep excess food from going into landfills.
Some 950 entities competed in the agency’s Food Recovery Challenge.
“Food Recovery Challenge award winners serve as role models in their communities and for other organizations,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
“Their hard work and effective efforts to divert wasted food from landfills is paying off through social, financial and environmental benefits,” Pruitt said. “I encourage other organizations to replicate the successful food recovery operations of our challenge winners.”
The EPA program was launched in 2013 under the Obama administration.
San Diego-area winners were:
- The city of San Diego, for a comprehensive education program for commercial food providers that had more than 80 participants last year that composted over 8,000 founds of excess food, while 17 significantly increased food donations.
- San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, for a program that separates food from other waste at Lindbergh Field restaurants, and sends the food to composting facilities at the Miramar Landfill.
- Ramona High School, for a student-run collaboration with the county and Ramona Unified School District to collect and compost food waste from eight district campuses, while also saving food for a pantry for the needy.
- Cherokee Point Elementary School in San Diego, for instituting a program in which students can decline in advance food that they don’t intend to eat, thereby giving school officials a more accurate forecast of how much food they need to provide.
- And Sprouts Farmers Market, Carlsbad store, for preventing more than 31 million pounds of wasted food from entering landfills and avoiding more than $1.5 million in landfill fees in 2016 while promoting food donations.
— City News Service
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