EPA Recognizes Pacific Northwest Food Waste Reducers and Recyclers

February 7, 2022

3 Min Read
food waste
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Seattle - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced its 2020-2021 national and regional awardees for their outstanding sustainability efforts. These organizations, businesses, federal agencies, and others are conserving energy and water, reducing wasted food, and preventing waste destined for landfills.

EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) program partners prevented about 1.2 million tons of food from entering landfills or incinerators. While FRC partners prevented food waste, our WasteWise partners diverted close to 410,000 tons of general, non-food waste and saved close to $23 million in avoided landfill fees. As part of the Federal Green Challenge (FGC) federal facilities won awards for applying practical, cost-effective measures to conserve energy, water, and other natural resources.

Through the FRC, EPA has worked with organizations and businesses for the past decade to set data-driven goals, and implement targeted strategies to reduce wasted food in its operations. EPA’s regional FRC award winners for 2020-2021 are: PCC Community Markets, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle Mariners/T-Mobile Park, Microsoft Corporate Headquarters Campus, Gonzaga University, and University of Washington.

As one of the FRC winners, PCC Community Markets has a long history of working to reduce food waste and divert it from the landfill. “PCC Community Markets operates on a triple bottom line, always balancing the co-op’s economic, social, and environmental impact and results,” said Brent Kawamura, PCC Community Markets Sustainability Manager. “With efforts to be one of the most sustainable grocery stores in the U.S., including working to achieve zero waste, the co-op takes actions including getting food into the hands of those who need it rather than landfills.”

EPA recognizes WasteWise partners that report the best overall improvement in waste prevention and recycling activities when compared to the previous year. Over the years WasteWise partners have prevented and diverted close to 249 million tons of waste from landfills and incinerators, preventing more than 488 million tons of associated greenhouse gas emissions, and saving close to $13.7 billion in avoided landfill fees.

Earth Friendly Products (ECOS) based in Lacey, is a returning WasteWise award winner. Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, ECOS President and CEO, commented, “For over 50 years, our mission has been to protect the health of people, pets, and the planet, and zero waste manufacturing is an important way we’re achieving that mission. Shoppers tell us it’s important to them, too—they want to buy products from companies that are doing more to reduce their impact on the environment. I hope our success will inspire other companies to reduce waste in their operations to help protect our beautiful, shared planet.”

The FGC is a national effort under EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program to encourage agencies to reduce the federal government's environmental impact. Reducing the size of a facility’s environmental footprint conserves natural resources and reduces pollution that contributes to climate change. Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Oregon won the 2021 FGC Adaptation Award for its response during the pandemic, which revealed opportunities for sustainability, efficiency, and savings. Noting this achievement, Robin Furrer, BPA’s Chief Administrative Officer, stated, “I’m incredibly proud of the hard work and careful thought that went into BPA’s transition to maximum telework. This situation is a reminder that sustainability tracking gives us essential insights into how we use and manage resources, and that sustainability aligns closely with financial and operational resiliency.”

For more information on the Food Recovery Challenge and award winners, visit:


For more information on WasteWise and award winners, go to:


For more information on the Federal Green Challenge and awardees, visit:


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