Chart 1 shows that most of lunchroom waste is food waste.
Chart 2 shows the five waste components – Recoverable Food, Liquids, Recycling, Landfill and Food Scraps.
Perfectly good, unopened or untouched food gets collected on the share table. This food used to go to the landfill.
Using safe food handling guidelines, we collect and offer share table food to students who are still hungry and sometime local food pantries.
According to “Leftover Cuisine,” a food rescue organization, one meal is calibrated as 1.2 lbs. of recovered food.
Because when we waste food, we also waste the resources… the water, fertilizer and hard work. We also lose the forests we clear to grow the food and we get greenhouse gas emissions from farm machines, processing plants and trucks that transport food to market… only to be wasted.
The official U.S. Food Waste Reduction Goal is to reduce food waste by 50%. This will help limit the warming of the planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Annual Food Waste per student is a factor that allows us to track how much we reduce food waste.
Food Waste per Student = (Liquids + Food Scraps) x 180 days / School Enrollment
As we divert food waste from the landfill and reduce food waste per student, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving resources.
We calculate these reductions in Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide (C02) and we can see how this improves the environment by using the Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator / US EPA.