Food Waste Reduction and Recovery
Feeding Hungry People and Reducing Food Waste
The State of California estimates that over 30% of the material going to local landfills is organic material, which includes food, while one out of every six people in Contra Costa County are food insecure and struggle to find their next meal.
When we make the most of our food, we ease the pressure on the food supply system, help the environment and save money!
Now that we are eating more meals at home, we can reduce food waste by planning ahead.
- Shop your fridge first!
- Plan your meals.
- Shop locally to reduce your food miles.
- Understand "sell by" and "use by" date labels.
- Store food properly in your fridge and freezer.
- Recycle empty, clean and dry food containers.
- Compost food scraps and food soiled paper in your green organics cart.
- Set up a compost bin or worm bin to reuse food scraps at home for a healthy garden.
Do you have fruit trees on your property that produce more than your household can consume? Register your tree today with The Urban Farmers! Volunteers will help glean your fruit trees to feed people.
RecycleSmart is partnering with food recovery services throughout the Bay Area to help grocery stores, hotels, restaurants and other food generating businesses donate extra food to those in need quickly and conveniently. Your business might even qualify for tax benefits!
State of California Senate Bill 1383: Passed in 2016, SB 1383 is part of a multi-pronged strategy to reduce organic waste disposal in California by 75% and recover 20% of edible food that is currently thrown away by 2025.
Call RecycleSmart at 925-906-1801 for more information about food donation, or contact one of the food recovery services listed below.
Donate food locally:
- White Pony Express is dedicated to helping eliminate hunger and poverty by delivering the abundance all around us to those in need - with love.
- Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano works to reduce food waste, feed hungry people and raise public awareness of issues related to food and hunger.
Food Safety and Food Donation in Contra Costa County
The County Health Services Department has developed information and tools for businesses to safely donate extra food.
Laws Around Donating Food
Both Federal and State law provide liability protections for good faith food doners.
- California Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (AB 1219)
- Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
- Promote and establish a Zero Waste Lunch school culture.
- Implement smarter lunch room practices.
- Observe where improvements can be made for a cafeteria waste sorting station, especially finding ways to reduce contamination.
- Consider having student station sorting monitors.
- Set up worm composting and/or a compost bin to compost lunch time fruits and veggies.
- Track potential surplus food that could be donated.
- Establish a food donation partner for surplus food.
- Reach out to our schools program coordinator for direct support, assistance and supplies.