Event Title

Food Waste Composting

Presenter Information

Nora Goldstein

Event Website

http://www.vet.upenn.edu/research/news-events-conferences/last-food-mile-conference

Start Date

9-12-2014 12:00 PM

End Date

9-12-2014 1:30 PM

Description

After reducing the quantity of food wasted, and maximizing recovery and distribution of edible food, the next step in the food supply chain is composting the nonedible food to replenish soils — and in turn grow more food to put back into the supply chain. The optimum scenario is to close that loop as close to the sources of consumption. Increasingly, this is happening in communities via urban agriculture, community gardens and local farms and composting operations. To optimize this closed loop of food production, recovery and recycling, the food waste generated needs to be free of contaminants, especially plastic and glass. This requires an investment in training and education at the source, and having the proper tools to maximize separation efficiency. This is also a point in the food supply chain where wasting of food can be identified, with information fed back into food purchasing, food preparation and donation programs. The final step is to optimize composting systems to produce high quality compost that can be incorporated back into soils for fertility and organic matter.

This presentation provides:

1) National data on composting trends in the U.S. based on the 2014 State of Composting In The U.S. report (Institute for Local Self-Reliance and BioCycle) and BioCycle’s online directory, www.findacomposter.com. A national snapshot survey found that food waste composting sites comprised less than 10% of all facilities in the U.S.; over 70% compost only yard trimmings. A 2013 update of composting facilities in www.findacomposter.com identified over 500 permitted to receive food waste.

2) Effective separation practices at the source of generation. These include placement of containers in food prep and dining areas, container options for large-scale generators, signage in multiple languages and photos/illustrations of what can be included. Given employee turnover in many food-related sectors, training and education should be conducted as frequently as needed. Immediate feedback from organics haulers and composters (e.g., digital photos) when contamination is found assists in ongoing training. Management buy-in and support of the food waste diversion program — similar to food donation — is critical to long-term success.

3) Key benefits of amending soils with compost to optimize food production. This includes moisture retention in amended soils, fertility, and less compacted soils that are able to infiltrate water, especially during heavy rain events.

4) Closing the Food Loop case studies. These will include several urban farms with community composting operations that receive source separated commercial and residential food scraps; conveniently located composting sites that service the food supply chain; and on-farm composters (and anaerobic digesters) that process clean food scraps streams from the food supply chain and utilize the compost in food production.

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Dec 9th, 12:00 PM Dec 9th, 1:30 PM

Food Waste Composting

After reducing the quantity of food wasted, and maximizing recovery and distribution of edible food, the next step in the food supply chain is composting the nonedible food to replenish soils — and in turn grow more food to put back into the supply chain. The optimum scenario is to close that loop as close to the sources of consumption. Increasingly, this is happening in communities via urban agriculture, community gardens and local farms and composting operations. To optimize this closed loop of food production, recovery and recycling, the food waste generated needs to be free of contaminants, especially plastic and glass. This requires an investment in training and education at the source, and having the proper tools to maximize separation efficiency. This is also a point in the food supply chain where wasting of food can be identified, with information fed back into food purchasing, food preparation and donation programs. The final step is to optimize composting systems to produce high quality compost that can be incorporated back into soils for fertility and organic matter.

This presentation provides:

1) National data on composting trends in the U.S. based on the 2014 State of Composting In The U.S. report (Institute for Local Self-Reliance and BioCycle) and BioCycle’s online directory, www.findacomposter.com. A national snapshot survey found that food waste composting sites comprised less than 10% of all facilities in the U.S.; over 70% compost only yard trimmings. A 2013 update of composting facilities in www.findacomposter.com identified over 500 permitted to receive food waste.

2) Effective separation practices at the source of generation. These include placement of containers in food prep and dining areas, container options for large-scale generators, signage in multiple languages and photos/illustrations of what can be included. Given employee turnover in many food-related sectors, training and education should be conducted as frequently as needed. Immediate feedback from organics haulers and composters (e.g., digital photos) when contamination is found assists in ongoing training. Management buy-in and support of the food waste diversion program — similar to food donation — is critical to long-term success.

3) Key benefits of amending soils with compost to optimize food production. This includes moisture retention in amended soils, fertility, and less compacted soils that are able to infiltrate water, especially during heavy rain events.

4) Closing the Food Loop case studies. These will include several urban farms with community composting operations that receive source separated commercial and residential food scraps; conveniently located composting sites that service the food supply chain; and on-farm composters (and anaerobic digesters) that process clean food scraps streams from the food supply chain and utilize the compost in food production.

https://repository.upenn.edu/thelastfoodmile/sessions/session/10

 

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