USCC Policy session: Working with Cities; Policy Barriers; Defining Advocacy
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) conducted aquantitative and qualitative analysis of food waste in Nashville, Denver,and New York City, in coordination with local governments and other community stakeholders. Measuring the amount of food that is wasted,along with identifying some of the root causes of why food is wasted,is a critical step for municipal governments to identify strategies that help prevent wasting food, rescue appropriate food to benefit people in need, and recycle food scraps through strategies such as composting. This analysis not only identifiedhow much food is going to waste, but also specific characteristics of the food being wasted, including estimating how much could have been avoided.
NRDC analyzedfood waste in both the residential and ICI (industrial, commercial, and institutional) sectors in each city. For the ICI sector, NRDC usedprevious studies and regional business information to estimate the amount of food wasted. In the residential sector, NRDC examinedhousehold food waste through kitchen diaries and consumer surveys generatinginsights on what types of food are wasted, why the food is wasted, and where that waste is discarded.
This analysis informs NRDC’s current initiative working with citiesto reduce the amount of food going to waste,increase food donation, and recycle food scraps.