MAPPING SOURCES AND SOLUTIONS FOR FOOD SCRAPS
Ohio EPA, which now includes the former ODNR Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention, and U.S. EPA Region 5, have been working with stakeholders to develop and implement food scraps recovery projects. In many cases, communities and businesses have launched food scraps recovery programs on their own. Since 2009, City of Huron (Erie County), Village of Luckey (Wood County), Fairborn (Greene County), West Milton (Miami County), and Miami Township (Montgomery County) residents have been offered food scraps collection along with their yard waste collection. The Kroger Company has diverted more the 3,500 tons from Ohio landfills and this material has been converted into a nutrient-rich resource. Cleveland venues including Browns Stadium, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Progressive Field, and Quicken Loans Arena began collecting and sending food scraps to area composting facilities. Colleges, universities, and other organizations continue to compost on site, when available as an option. Often, interested communities and businesses are unaware of opportunities and resources available to begin recovering food scraps.
Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA Region 5 have developed a map to offer a visual display of opportunities to the many communities, businesses, and other organizations that are interested in recovery food scraps. Since the launch of Ohio's Food Scraps Recovery Initiative in 2007, the infrastructure of composting and anaerobic digestion facilities has developed considerably and offers most regions of the state an alternative solution to landfills. The map includes the location of all licensed composting facilities authorized to accept food scraps and rings to display varying distances that may affect the economic feasibility of a program. Supermarket locations for various grocers illustrate the opportunities that exist in just this industry alone. The map also includes supermarkets currently participating in food scraps recovery programs.
This map is intended to assist communities and businesses in identifying opportunities to recover food scraps by displaying local solutions and existing programs. Communities and businesses that are participating in food scraps recovery programs and want to be included in this map are encouraged to forward their information to Angel Arroyo-Rodriguez. For more information about food scraps recovery, please contact the Division of Materials and Waste Management at (614) 644-2621.
Check out the following features:
- Food Scraps Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Facilities- Distances from your location- Driving directions from your location- Existing Food Scraps Recovery Programs- Local Food Banks
Right click HERE or on the image to download the ".kml" file (right click and save the link) and view the Map in Google Earth.If you don't have Google Earth installed on your computer, you can get the free download here.
Below is a list of links for various food bank operations in Ohio that may be willing to work with you on finding outlets for excess food. If you represent an organization that would like to be listed, please contact us.
Food Service Waste Reduction Tips and Ideas
* Reprinted from the California Integrated Waste Management Board Web Site
Restaurants, fast food establishments and cafeterias can do a lot to minimize or reduce potential cost increases by incorporating simple waste prevention and recycling programs and procedures that will eliminate much of the waste that is thrown away. With proper purchasing and handling, and careful preparation and storage, food service establishments can help reduce waste and save money! Your restaurant may already be using many of these ideas to reduce costs as well as waste. Try a few new suggestions, see how they work, and then continue to expand your waste reduction program.
- Serve beverages from a beverage gun or dispenser, buy bar mixes in concentrate form and buy milk in 5-gallon dispenser boxes.
- Use health department-approved, refillable condiment dispensers instead of individual packets. Buy shelf-stable food supplies in bulk when sales volume and storage space allows.
- Consider buying your lettuce precut during those times of the year when the pre-cut cost is equal to (or less than) the cost of the bulk product.
- Buy meats in bulk or uncut form and cut to size.
- Consider buying shelled eggs, in bulk, if your egg usage for general cooking or baking is three or more cases per week.
Produce Handling and Storage
- Donate unserved food to a local food bank.
- Check your produce deliveries carefully for rotten or damaged product, and return any substandard product.
- Rotate perishable stock at every delivery to minimize waste due to spoilage.
- Clean coolers and freezers regularly to ensure that food has not fallen behind the shelving and spoiled.
- Arrange your refrigerated and dry storage areas to facilitate easy product access and rotation.
- Store raw vegetables and other perishables in reusable airtight containers to prevent unnecessary dehydration and spoilage.
- Rehydrate vegetables (e.g., celery, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, etc.) that have wilted by trimming off the very bottom part of the stalk and immersing in warm water (100°F.) for 15 to 20 minutes.
Food Preparation and Storage
- Adjust inventory levels on perishables to reduce waste due to spoilage or dehydration.
- Use hourly or daily production charts to minimize over prepping and unnecessary waste.
- Whenever possible, prepare foods to order.
- When prepping food, only trim off what is not needed.
- Use vegetable and meat trimmings for soup stock.
- Adjust the size of meal portions if you find they are consistently being returned unfinished.
- Pre-cool hot foods (in an ice bath) before refrigerating.
- Reuse leftover foods that have been stored at proper temperature within two days of preparation to prevent waste due to spoilage.
- Store leftover hot foods from different stations in separate containers to reduce the chance of spoilage.
- Wrap freezer products tightly, label, and date them. Make sure they are used in a timely fashion, to minimize waste due to freezer burn.
- Ask your suppliers take back shipping boxes for reuse or recycling and to keep you informed about new and existing products that are packaged in ways which can reduce waste.
- Always consider durability as a cost criterion when buying equipment and janitorial supplies.
- Purchase paper products made from recycled materials.
- Use reusable coasters (or nothing at all) instead of paper napkins when serving beverages from the bar.
- Store and handle unwrapped paper supplies to prevent the products from inadvertently falling on the floor.
- Use reusable table linen and dinnerware.
- Use cloth towels for cleaning, rather than the paper equivalents.
- Use plastic trash can liners made of recycled HDPE instead of ones made of LDPE or LLDPE. They contain less raw material, work equally well for most uses, and generally cost less.
- Purchase cleaning supplies in concentrate form.
- Use multipurpose cleaners that can be used for all types of surfaces rather than cleaners that are job specific. Whenever possible, use cleaning agents that are less hazardous or non-hazardous.
- Use reusable hats for kitchen employees instead of disposable paper ones.
Production and Service Areas
- Implement a monthly cleaning and maintenance program for all your equipment.
- Keep refrigeration in good running order to prevent unnecessary spoilage and reduce energy costs.
- Check the syrup-to-water calibration on beverage dispensers regularly.
- Keep oven equipment calibrated to prevent over baking.
- Clean fryers and filter the oil daily. Use a test kit to determine when to change fryer oil.
- Create incentives for staff to reduce breakage of china and glass.
- Place rubber mats around bus and dish washing stations to reduce china and glass breakage.
- Have employees use permanent-ware mugs or cups for their drinks.
- Check for discarded trays and flatware before throwing out dining room trash.
- Distribute condiments from behind the counter instead of offering self-service.
- Use straw-style stir sticks for bar beverages instead of the solid style.
- Serve straws from health department-approved dispensers rather than pre-wrapped, and offer only one straw per drink.
- Use serving containers in sizes that meet the packaging needs of your menu items without having excess packaging material.
- Minimize the use of unnecessary extra packaging of take-out foods. Use less packaging for eat-in foods than for food being taken out, or use none at all.
- Offer customers a discount if they bring their own mugs, containers, or bags.
- Set up a rendering service for your waste grease, fat, or used cooking oil.
- Set up a recycling program with one of your local collectors (e.g. cardboard, glass).
- If you serve beverages in cans or bottles, place a recycling bin in the dining area for your customers' empty beverage containers.
- Donate empty plastic pails or buckets to schools, nurseries, churches, customers, or employees.
- Donate old uniforms to thrift shops.
Ask Your Employees
- Don't forget to ask your staff for their input and assistance on what can be done to reduce waste. Reward them for good ideas. Including employees in the decision-making process will help ensure participation in your efforts to reduce waste, and will result in higher productivity, better morale, and lower costs.
Tell Your Customers
- Educate customers and advertise your waste reduction program by posting signs highlighting your efforts. Offer customers a discount if they bring their own mugs, containers, or bags.
Potential Funding Resources for Food Scrap Composting Projects
The resources below will provide you with a starting point in identifying potential funding resources for food scrap composting projects. We cannot, however, guarantee the availability of funding through the resources listed below.
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Market Development Grant (MDG)
The Market Development Grant (MDG) provides financial assistance to recycled material processors and product manufacturers operating within Ohio. Funding is available to purchase equipment and conduct applied research and development that will strengthen markets for recyclable materials. Eligible projects may target post-consumer, post-commercial and post-industrial recycled material. The division is interested in funding those projects that impact the largest Ohio market area and consume the largest volume of scrap tires or recyclable materials.
Eligible applicants include Ohio cities with a population greater than 50,000; counties and solid waste management districts or solid waste management authorities. These applicants apply on behalf of local businesses. The maximum grant amount is $250,000 for recycling market development projects, and the maximum grant amount is $350,000 for manufacturing or processing projects involving scrap tires. Testing, research and development projects may receive a maximum of $75,000.
Applicants must demonstrate that the local business will provide a financial contribution to the project equal to the amount requested in division grant funds. The match should be a cash contribution or a documented line of credit dedicated to the project.
If you have any questions regarding grant opportunities, please email Chet Chaney or call (614) 728-0043.
Local Solid Waste Management Districts
In 1988, Ohio’s legislature passed House Bill 592 to help strengthen Ohio’s solid waste law and implement a planning process at both the local and state government levels. The Bill required all counties to establish Solid Waste Management Districts (SWMDs), either independently or jointly with other counties. SWMDs prepare plans to help their communities meet certain goals related to the management and recycling/reduction of industrial waste (waste produced by manufacturing-type businesses).
You may want to check with your local SWMD to see if funding may be available to assist in launching a food scrap composting project in your area. For contact information, see DMWM SWMD chair list .
Ohio EPA Environmental Education Fund (OEEF)
Monies credited to the Environmental Education Fund consist of half of all penalties collected by Ohio EPA air and water pollution control programs, as well as gifts, grants, and contributions. The fund must be used to enhance the public’s awareness and understanding about issues affecting environmental quality in Ohio. There is no limit on the type of environmental education projects that can receive funding. Some examples of eligible activities include:
- Providing educational seminars for the public regarding the scientific and technical aspects of environmental issues.
- Providing educational programs on pollution prevention and waste minimization for the regulated community.
- Providing educational programs on regulatory requirements and methods to achieve and maintain compliance for the regulated community (including small businesses).
The education fund provides general grants (up to $50,000) and mini grant (from $500-$5,000). For more information, visit the OEE Web site.
Associations & Additional Resources
Organics Recycling Association of Ohio
U.S. EPA, Composting Web site
The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Ohio Composting and Manure Management Program (OCAMM) at The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Articles and Reading Materials
BioCycle Journal of Composting & Organics Recycling BioCycle is America’s foremost magazine on composting and organics recycling. BioCycle shows you how to turn organic residuals (for example, woody materials, yard trimmings, food residuals, biosolids, manure) into value-added products.
Ohio Seeks to Boost Food Waste Recovery, Waste News Article, July 2007. [PDF]
Ohio Targets Food Residual Composting, BioCycle, September 2007. [PDF]
Food Scrap Composting at Home
You can do a lot to help keep food scraps from taking up valuable landfill space in Ohio by composting food scraps at home. It’s pretty easy and you’re helping the environment. Below are some helpful resources to help you learn more about composting at home:
Composting Facility Regulations
Ohio EPA categorizes composting facilities into four classes based on the type of material the facility can accept. Class II facilities are eligible to receive and process food scraps from external sources. Class II facilities may also accept yard and animal waste. Click here for a list and map of their locations.
The three steps needed to establish a Class II composting facility are registration, license and financial assurance. For more information on composting facility regulations, see the following resources from Ohio EPA: