In 2019, the U.S. “let a huge 35% of the 229 million tons of food available go unsold or uneaten,” according to new data from ReFED. “That’s almost 130 billion meals’ worth of food that we’re letting go unsold or uneaten each year, worth almost 2% of U.S. GDP.” Currently, a good portion of that roughly 80 million tons of food waste is landfilled, a practice that releases methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) with at least 25 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Over the past decade (or longer), there has been a significant ramp up of food waste prevention and edible food recovery programs, along with development of infrastructure to recycle food waste via composting and anaerobic digestion (AD). Utilizing AD has substantial potential, but is still in the early stages of development and implementation in the U.S. A webinar on April 8 from 12:00 PM-1:30 PM Eastern, “Food Scrap Recycling: Opportunities and Realities of Anaerobic Digestion” — organized by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and sponsored by BioCycle and the American Biogas Council — explores the current status of AD as a recycling option for food scraps. Two key questions to be considered are: What are the opportunities and challenges in diverting food waste from landfills to AD facilities? What policies and programs would support further development of AD facilities for food scraps?
Moderated by Carol A. Jones, an ELI Visiting Scholar, the webinar features four panelists who will delve into these questions and suggest solutions to diverting food waste from landfills and create valuable products through AD:
- John Hanselman, CEO, Vanguard Renewables
- Julia Levin, Executive Director, Bioenergy Association of California
- Mark McDannel, Division Engineer, Energy Recovery Engineering, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts
- Melissa Pennington, Sustainability Coordinator, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
This event is free and open to the public but participants must register by April 6th.