U.S. EPA Recognizes Food Recovery Programs

U.S. EPA Recognizes Food Recovery Programs

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today recognized the 99 Ranch Market in Rowland Heights and four other organizations for their efforts to reduce food waste.

The EPA's Food Recovery Challenge program encourages businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to reduce waste, donate food and recycle food scraps to save money, feed the needy and protect the environment.

“These winning organizations are showing how food recovery solutions result in multiple benefits,” said EPA spokesman Mike Stoker. “They are reducing waste, serving their communities through food donation and generating clean fuels to power their operations.”

This year's regional winners are:

-- Sprouts Farmers Markets statewide, for donating almost 700 tons of fresh surplus food to people in need, and 659 tons of excess food to farm animals, from its eighteen stores throughout California. Additionally, Sprouts diverted almost 800 tons of food trimmings and scraps to composting facilities. Overall, Sprouts kept 2,147 tons of excess food out of landfills. Sprouts' Tustin store received the EPA's national FRC award for Grocer of the Year.

-- EcoSet Consulting in Los Angeles was recognized for applying waste- diversion and zero-waste practices, during the production of commercials and live events. EcoSet diverts roughly 30,000 to 40,000 pounds annually, through composting and food donation. In 2017, the company donated more than 17,000 pounds of food, partnering with Valley Food Bank and Westside Food Bank to redistribute the resources.

-- The 99 Ranch Market in Rowland Heights was acknowledged for its organic food waste recycling program. The store also donates grocery and produce items through Feeding America. The Rowland Heights store provides training to its employees in waste recycling and food donation management, in English, Chinese and Spanish.

-- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in Alhambra was recognized for implementing food-waste reduction practices at its headquarters. In 2017, Public Works began an internal “Scrape Your Plate” food waste collection program, which sent 100 pounds to worm bins and more than 4,520 pounds of food waste to facilities that convert food waste into biogas, which produce renewable electricity and transportation fuel. The department also donated 320 pounds of leftover meals to local communities.

-- The 168 Market in Hacienda Heights was tabbed for its sustainable food waste management program, focusing on anaerobic digestion, which converts food waste to biogas. The Hacienda Heights store also provides specific training in organic waste separation in English, Chinese and Spanish. Through its anaerobic digestion program, the store diverted 169 tons of excess food from landfills in 2017, more than double its total in 2016.

Photo: Getty Images

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