Wasted Food Assistance

Tools for Comprehensive Wasted Food Management

These resources were developed by CET and modified to be applicable nationwide. Contact CET to discover food recovery and waste diversion opportunities for your business, institution, clients, or association members: (888) 813-8552 or e-mail

Resources below included guidance and best practices on a wide array of subjects, from source reduction to donation to composting.

CET Tools and Resources

Bans and Beyond: Designing and Implementing Organic Waste Bans and Mandatory Organics Recycling Laws
The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, with support from the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), has released a toolkit on organic waste bans and their potential to reduce food waste and strengthen local economies.

Community Toolkit: Adding Food Waste to a Yard Trimmings Compost Facility
Existing municipal yard trimming composting sites offer under-utilized potential to quickly increase the capacity to effectively process food scraps locally. This toolkit was created in partnership with BioCycle to help municipalities determine how to employ this strategy in their community.

Crossing State Lines: Getting the Most Out of Radius Provisions in Food Waste Disposal Laws
Among the U.S. states that have passed commercial food waste disposal legislation, over half include radius provisions. Businesses that generate wasted food are subject only if there is a food waste processing facility within a designated distance. This insight demonstrates how proactively including the catchments of facilities in border states can give food waste policies a boost as in-state infrastructure catches up with the demand.

Food Donation Guidance
This document is intended to provide guidance to organizations interested in establishing food donation programs by offering a broad overview of how successful food donation programs should be structured.

Food Waste Separation for Anaerobic Digestion Processing
This document provides specific guidance for source separating food scraps for anaerobic digestion. The guidance includes best practices for source separation in the kitchen, hauler collections and frequencies, outdoor storage practices, as well as frequently asked questions when collecting food scraps for anaerobic digestion.

Hauler Contracting Guidance
This document provides guidelines for businesses and institutions to help set up contracts for hauling trash, recyclables, and/or organics, effectively manage these services, and adjust contracts.

Northeast Anaerobic Digestion Accelerator – Food Waste Digestion Insights
This document provides insights on the anaerobic digestion (AD) fundamentals and provides examples of service providers — haulers and food waste preprocessing and digester facilities in the Northeast. Developed in collaboration with BioCycle Connect, LLC, readers can learn more about varied types of anaerobic digestion facilities and guidance for managing contamination.

Reducing Food Waste in Manufacturing: Strategies to Prevent, Donate, and Recycle Waste
Learn about wasted food prevention, donation, and diversion opportunities and get a deeper understanding of anaerobic digestion.

Washington, D.C. Spotlight – Latino Economic Development Center
Learn more about DC food businesses that are reducing, rescuing, and recycling their wasted food. These businesses are an inspiration to other generators and their stories can be motivational tools to inspire others to implement or expand their own programs.

Recycling Works in MA Tools

These resources were developed by CET under contract to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) as part of MassDEP’s RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts program. Although these documents reference the state of Massachusetts, they are public documents and may be applicable region-wide.

Food Waste Estimator Tool
RecyclingWorks has compiled industry data from published reports and studies, which can be used as guidance for facilities with little to no current wasted food diversion programs in place. Select the industry category that best fits your business or institution to start estimating your wasted food today.

How to Reduce Food Waste
A resource for businesses and institutions with tips and guidelines to save money, improve labor efficiency, and reduce waste

Food Waste Diversion Guide For Restaurants
Guidance for starting or expanding a wasted food diversion program at a restaurant, including tips for evaluating current operations, designing the program, staff training, and monitoring and maintaining the program.

External Resources
Ample Harvest is a nationwide resource that helps reduce wasted food and reduce hunger by connecting gardeners with excess produce to nearby food pantries accepting donations.

BioCycle is a great resource for organics recovery information through its conferences, websites, and publications.

EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food
Choose your state or EPA region from the map or search by state to find EPA regional wasted food prevention and diversion efforts.

Feeding America
Feeding America provides a directory of more than 200 food banks nationally, as well as research and reports on hunger across the United States.

Food Rescue US
Food Rescue US is made up of individuals and nonprofit organizations that provide to food-insecure individuals and families.

Food Waste Policy Gap Analysis and Inventory: MidAtlantic, Southeast, and Great Lakes Regions: 
CET assisted the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, and BioCycle Connect in preparing these three regional reports for NRDC to provide an overview of existing food waste-related policies and opportunities for furthering food waste reduction in states within each region.

Food Waste Reduction Alliance: Best Practices and Emerging Solutions Guide
This toolkit was developed to help guide companies through the basic steps in wasted food reduction. Included are sections on how to get started, as well as suggestions for identifying a range of solutions.

Funding Opportunities for Organics & Compost Related Businesses in the Northeast
Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) compiled the funding opportunities for organics and compost-related businesses from state and federal agencies in the Northeast; CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, and VT.

Further With Food
This virtual resource center offers businesses, government entities, investors, NGOs, academics, and individuals a platform to find and share information about proven solutions and approaches to reduce the volume of surplus food generated, feed hungry people, and divert food scraps.

Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic
FLPC has published reports, legal guides, and fact sheets on a variety of topics related to food law and policy. They partnered with CET to develop the first set of fact sheets on donation (date labeling lawsliability protectiontax incentives for businesses) for Massachusetts and have since replicated them for many other states.

Natural Resources Defense Council
The NRDC has done comprehensive analyses on the importance of the wasted food issue and has developed many resources to address the problem. The Food Matters project at NRDC partners with cities to provide technical expertise, best practices, and other tools to help them achieve reductions in wasted food. Resources include a policy and program toolkit, strategic communications and partnership guide, and more.

This collaboration of businesses, nonprofits, foundations, and government leaders is dedicated to reducing wasted food in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2030. In March 2016, ReFED released the Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste, an economic study of wasted food aimed at providing a feasible guide for action. It features 27 of the most cost-effective ways to reduce wasted food based on societal economic value, business profit potential, and other non-financial impacts.
ReFED’s Food Waste Innovator Database maps commercial and nonprofit entities that are working in the food waste innovation sector. The 350+ entities are mapped by geography and solution type.

Save the Food
The Natural Resources Defense Council has partnered with the Ad Council to develop a host of resources to help communities and individuals address the important issue of wasted food.

Sustainable America’s Food Rescue Database
A directory of organizations across the United States that rescue, glean, transport, prepare, and distribute food to the needy in their communities.
The Compost Navigator
This BioCycle tool helps locate composting facilities, anaerobic digestion sites, and organics collection services near you.

The National Restaurant Association’s ConServe
This program provides information to help restaurants reduce wasted food and donate edible food. The website has a Best Practices section with tips for reducing wasted food; it also has a number of “how to” videos for restauranteurs. The Tools & Solutions section has information on donating food, zero waste, and more.

Subscribe to new posts

* indicates required


1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10

Partner with CET

We’re excited to help you decarbonize with energy and waste solutions.

Copyright CET ©2024 Non-Profit

We envision a world that has embraced and advanced just and resilient climate solutions.

CET is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

Scroll to Top