Federal Funds for Diversion of Food Waste in Connecticut

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November 18, 2016

For Further Information:

Lorenzo Macaluso, CET, 413-218-1543

Dennis Schain, DEEP, 860-424-3110

 

Federal Funds for Diversion of Food Waste

Will Help Reduce Volume of Trash

Increase food donations is one of focuses – especially at holiday time

For many people in Connecticut, Thanksgiving is a time of family gatherings and enjoyable eating. It’s also a time when donations flood in from food rescue organizations to food pantries and soup kitchens, to ensure that the state’s hungriest people get warm, nutritious meals.

While Thanksgiving may put the spotlight on food insecurity, nearly half a million people in Connecticut, (according to the Connecticut Food Bank) including more than 140,000 children, do not have consistent access to adequate amounts of food year-around.

Meanwhile, nearly 520,000 tons of food waste is generated in Connecticut each year, some of which could be donated to feed people. 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 noted in the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s (DEEP’s) recently adopted Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy (CMMS).

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New Harvard Toolkit Shines Light on Food Waste Policy

By Matt Brodeur, Green Business Fellow 

The Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic (FLPC) recently released a toolkit called Keeping Food Out of the Landfill: Policy Ideas for States and Localities to help stakeholders eliminate the mountainous problem of wasted food. CET’s Director of Green Business Services, Lorenzo Macaluso, contributed to the publication.

According to the toolkit, 63 million tons of food produced in the U.S. is wasted each year (1). To put that massive number into perspective, it takes “approximately 21% of the United States’ fresh water supply and 300 million barrels of oil…to produce food that goes to waste” (1). In addition, the amount of food that is wasted each year is significantly more than the amount that would be needed to eradicate hunger in the United States. In 2015, 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 13.1 million children.

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Having a set of proven solutions and recommendations to aid policymakers and other stakeholders in reducing wasted food is an invaluable resource. The toolkit has an array of sections on topics such as date labeling, organic waste bans, K-12 schools, and tax incentives for food donation. For example, the toolkit explains that the federal government does not regulate date labels on perishable foods, so some states have taken it upon themselves to enact date labeling laws. Other states, such as New York, have no regulations whatsoever governing how manufacturers label their products. Because there is no standardized terminology for labeling, many people assume that labels meant to indicate food quality (e.g. “best before”, “use by”) are indicators of food safety. All of these inconsistencies lead to consumers taking excessive precautions and throwing away safe, wholesome food.

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EPA Awards $270K for Environmental and Health Projects in New England Communities

Contact Information: 

David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

617-918-1017

BOSTON – EPA has awarded 12 grants across New England under its 2016 Healthy Communities Grant Program, totaling approximately $270,566, to fund community projects addressing environmental and public health issues. The projects will reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health, and improve the quality of life for communities and residents across New England.

The Healthy Communities Grant Program combines resources from several EPA programs to strategically address the environmental and public health issues burdening New England communities. Contributing programs include Assistance & Pollution Prevention; Asthma; Children’s Environmental Health and Clean, Green and Healthy Schools Initiative; Toxics; Urban Environmental Program; and Water Infrastructure (Stormwater, Wastewater, and Drinking Water). The program has competitively selected projects that will: assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks; increase collaboration through community-based projects; build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems; advance emergency preparedness and resilience; and achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits in communities across New England.

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Sustainability Dream Team Releases Sports Venue Survey

By Kevin Pink, Customer Service & Marketing Assistant

The American sports world is pretty busy right now. Major League Baseball is barreling down the stretch toward the playoffs, and the NFL has just kicked off another season; the NHL and NBA begin their preseasons in a few weeks. Amongst all the talk of teams and trades, there’s some exciting news about another important part of the sports world: the sustainability efforts of the venues our favorite teams call home!

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American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, earned LEED certification in 2009.

Since March, the Department of Energy (DOE), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Green Sports Alliance (GSA), and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) have been working together to help understand the way sports venues use energy and water, and discover opportunities to promote more sustainable use.

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Hello from the 2017 EcoFellows!

By Green Homes Marketing Fellow Aliza Heeren & Marketing Fellow Chiara Favaloro

We have had a busy two weeks getting settled at Center for EcoTechnology and are excited for the year to come.  We wanted to offer a little bit about our backgrounds and some of our favorite parts of the first two weeks:

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