EPA Lauds Cal Food Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is praising UC Berkeley's efforts to reduce the amount of food thrown away at school dining halls. Cal Dining signed up for the EPA's Food Recovery Challenge a year ago, and has cut food waste by more than one-third. That means the university is buying less food, and saving more than $1,600 every week.
"This is all about dollars and cents," said Jared Blumenfeld, regional EPA administrator and Boalt Hall Law School graduate. "There's only so much feel-good-ness a university is going to take on. They need to know that it's going to save them money. So this is saving them significant amounts of money, primarily because it costs more to put it in a hole in the ground -- namely a landfill -- than a compost facility which then can sell it to a farm."
Cal Dining has cut the amount of food going to a landfill by roughly 1,000 pounds a week, by diverting scraps to composting and taking uneaten food to homeless shelters.