The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) continues Providing Wasted Food Assistance in Rhode Island with Support from 11th Hour Racing’s grant program
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 40% of food in the USA goes uneaten. This wasted food is valued at approximately $165 billion annually and when disposed of in a landfill, is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases. Diversion from disposal of food waste in the State, be it by reduction of such waste in the first place, by donation to feed people or animals, or by composting and anaerobic digestion, is a priority.
Rhode Island is just one state prioritizing the recovery of edible food, and wasted food diversion. The RI Food Strategy, Relish Rhody, includes goals to reduce food insecurity to less than 10% and divert wasted food from landfills. According to this report, about 35% of all waste disposed at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation’s (RIRRC) landfill is organic material.
With new support from 11th Hour Racing’s grant program, funded by The Schmidt Family Foundation, CET will provide even more wasted food assistance to many businesses across the state to successfully and cost effectively implement strategies to address their wasted food. The grant is part of Healthy Soils Healthy Seas Rhode Island, a composting program aims to inspire long-lasting environmentally responsible behavior necessary to improve ocean health. Other collaborators include: Black Earth Compost, Clean Ocean Access, and The Compost Plant. Compost can be used as a soil amendment for shoreline access erosion control and improving ecosystem services.
“We are honored to receive funding from 11th Hour Racing’s grant program to help us tackle climate change by keeping wasted food out of landfills,” said John Majercak, President of CET. “Working alongside our many industry and government partners throughout the region, we know we can expand our impact.”
CET is deeply knowledgeable about the regional marketplace and helps food businesses work across the EPA food recovery hierarchy to identify prevention, recovery, and diversion solutions, seamlessly integrating them into existing operations. CET conducts an on-site or virtual meeting to learn more about a business and their unique needs, then provides a customized report with recommendations, all at no-cost to the business or institution.
This effort builds on CET’s work over the past several years in Rhode Island which has been supported by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
CET develops resources to help Rhode Island businesses implement long-lasting solutions to wasted food, and inspire others. Stories can be found on CET’s Sector Spotlights for Rhode Islandopens PDF file , which includes features such as University of Rhode Island, Elisha Project, and Riverside Church. Additionally, following the 2021 Rhode Island Food System Summit, CET partnered with the University of Rhode Island to host a webinar focused on the business case for reducing, rescuing, and recycling wasted food. The webinar included members of the Rhode Island restaurant and food recovery community as well as a presentation on CET’s wasted food prevention strategy and resources. Entities such as North Restaurant and Stoneacre Brasserie highlighted solutions such as dehydrating peels and making fermented vinegars as simple and effective ways to reduce trimmings and food waste in the kitchen.
“It’s a wonderful to bring our no-cost expertise to restaurants and food businesses across Aquidneck Island,” stated Coryanne Mansell, Strategic Services Representative at CET. Coryanne helps businesses implement practical wasted food solutions that make an impact. “We are appreciative of the opportunity to help businesses recognize the value and importance of reducing wasted food. The solutions are good for the planet, for people, and make economic sense as well.”
Contact CET to learn more at (888) 813-8552, or firstname.lastname@example.org.