The US Postal Service, Commonwealth Edison and Toyota were among those recognized by the EPA as the top waste reducers in 2014. The EPA recognized the waste reduction accomplishments of 29 participants in and endorsers of its WasteWise program and Food Recovery Challenge.
These collaborative initiatives apply sustainable materials management practices to decrease municipal and industrial wastes and wasted food in the US. The EPA provides tools, resources and support to help participants establish baselines, set objectives, track progress and realize their waste reduction goals.
WasteWise participants prevented and diverted more than 6.7 million tons of municipal and industrial waste from being disposed in 2014. These colleges and universities, federal, local and tribal governments, businesses and non-profit organizations implemented a variety of waste prevention and recycling initiatives to both reduce waste and increase efficiencies throughout their operations.
Nearly 800 governments, businesses and organizations participated in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge in 2014. According to the EPA, Challenge participants, including grocers, educational institutions, sports and entertainment venues and restaurants, diverted nearly 606,000 tons of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators in 2014. These entities achieved this through the creative re-use of trimmings by university dining staff; donating excess, wholesome food to food banks, shelters and soup kitchens; composting in urban settings; and using wasted food to produce electricity.
The EPA recognized Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers in two categories: data-driven and narrative. The data-driven award recipients achieved the highest percent of wasted food diversion and prevention in their sector in 2014. Narrative award winners excelled in the areas of source reduction, leadership, innovation, education and outreach, and endorsement.
Kohl’s and Sierra Nevada Brewing were among those recognized as 2013’s top waste reducers.