Monday, November 19, 2012

UCSC Participates in EPA's National Food Recovery Challenge

In celebration of America Recycles Day on November 15th, the U.S. Environmental Agency announced the participation of 17 California, Nevada, and Arizona universities in EPA’s national Food Recovery Challenge. The 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 5% in one year.

UCSC is participating in the Challenge, along with each of the other UC campuses. "We felt it was another important component, to measure our reduction and help integrate the entire campus in a zero waste culture. Along with food scrap collection at all dining facilities, dining has an aggressive recycling program for all food packaging and supplies currently diverting over 500 tons of potential land fill waste to composting facilities," says Clint Jefferies, Green Business Manager, UC Santa Cruz Dining Services.

UCSC's commitment is to reduce food waste by 5% campus-wide this year and to become a zero waste campus by 2020. Food waste at UCSC comprises roughly 15% of our waste. This means that 15% of our campus' waste is food that could have been diverted from the landfill if people were to take less or compost their food.

As a member of the campus community, you can participate in the challenge by taking only the food you will eat in the dining halls, apartments, at campus vendors, and campus events. If you're planning a campus event, see How to Host a Zero Waste Event.

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