SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.- Several local universities will be among 18 universities in California, Nevada and Arizona and even the Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium to tackle food waste and limit the 34 million tons of food thrown out nationwide.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces last week the participation of these schools in the EPA's national Food Recovery Challenge. It's an event being hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, one of the first participants to join the Food Recovery Challenge.
In a news release, the EPA said the Food Recovery Challenge is a voluntary program that aims to limit the 34 million tons of food wasted nationwide annually by reducing unnecessary consumption and increasing donations to charity and composting. By participating, these schools, with a combined 460,000 student enrollment, pledge to reduce food waste by five percent in one year.
The schools, including Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, join 42 other colleges and universities nationwide in pledging to reduce wasted food. In addition to higher education institutions, other participants include grocers and entertainment venues, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers stadium.
The EPA said nationally, food is the single largest material sent to landfills, accounting for 25 percent of all waste sent to landfills. When excess food, leftover food, and food scraps are disposed of in a landfill, they decompose and become a significant source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In turn, limiting wasted food will reduce methane emissions.