Previewing WasteExpo’s All New Food Recovery Forum

Stuart Buckner, Ph.D., President

March 21, 2016

4 Min Read
Previewing WasteExpo’s All New Food Recovery Forum

The upcoming fourth annual Composting and Organics Recycling Conference at WasteExpo will provide critical information on organics management and the progress being made to expand the organics infrastructure in the U.S.

In addition, the conference will feature an all-new Food Recovery Forum. The Organics Recycling portion will offer three days of educational and technical sessions on Organics Management while the Food Recovery Forum focuses on efforts to reduce food loss and waste in the U.S. and to recover food residuals for beneficial reuse.

Conference presentations will focus on salient issues surrounding organics as well as highlight current trends in food scraps diversion, infrastructure development, and new technologies that impact future development. The practical aspects of composting, anaerobic digestion, odor management, diversion and recycling of organics, zero waste, air quality and GHG benefits, and business opportunities for the organics and waste management sectors will be addressed. Attendees will learn about systems and technologies, best management practices, odor prevention and control, common barriers to success, and progress being made to make organics recovery an industry with greater nationwide influence and relevance.  Presenters in the Food Recovery Forum will discuss the efforts being undertaken to reduce food waste and to increase food recovery, reuse, composting and anaerobic digestion, while educating attendees on how to introduce these initiatives into their own agencies.

The conference opens with a Keynote Session featuring Eric Lombardi, Executive Director of Eco-Cycle International who will present “The Community Zero Waste Roadmap”. His presentation provides new tools for action and best practices for making any town a Zero Waste Community.  The “Roadmap” is a 21 step program that offers a pragmatic look at strategies, infrastructure and governmental policies needed to move forward toward local Zero Waste goals. It was developed from a national survey of the most successful community programs, and through a Map of Best Practices, gives examples of its real-world implementation.

The next Keynote speaker is Evan Edgar who will present “The California Ban with a Plan - GHG Model goes Global”. In California, organics management policies have come of age, setting the stage for the massive expansion of composting, anaerobic digestion, and other practices which seek to remove over 90% of organic wastes from landfills by 2025 in order to mitigate methane production.  With a seat at the table at the Paris UN talks on climate change, the California business model performed on the global stage on how to increase your GNP while reducing your GHG footprint.

Kicking off the Food Recovery Forum is our third Keynote speaker, Mathy Stanislaus, US EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste, who will present “America’s First National Goal to Reduce Wasted Food: A Call to Action”. Mathy will discuss federal government programs to reduce wasted food, and an action plan to help the nation reach its goal.

A key session will be presented by representatives from the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) which is a cross-industry effort of food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants seeking to reduce food waste and increase food donation in the U.S. The FWRA is managed by three associations representing those sectors: the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the National Restaurant Association (NRA), and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). In this session, attendees will hear about how the industry is working to reduce & divert food waste across the supply chain. Panelists include representatives from Nestle USA, The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, The Grocery Manufacturers Association, and Wegmans Food Markets.

Speakers from Feeding America and the Center for EcoTechnology will address best practices for recovering edible food from the waste stream across all sectors of the food industry. Jeremy Kranowitz, Executive Director of Sustainable America, will discuss the organization’s work with large sports venues, NASCAR and the Green Sports Alliance “to create a holistic approach to food waste including smarter purchasing and kitchen preparation; more diversion to the hungry; opportunities for anaerobic digestion; and increased diversion to compost”.

A Food Recovery Workshop is planned which is geared toward commercial and institutional food waste generators, e.g., restaurants, groceries, hotels, and universities, who are interested in learning how to implement successful food waste recovery programs. All aspects of program development and implementation using a simple and comprehensive step by step format will be covered.

Additional sessions in the Food Recovery Forum will address food scrap collection and processing including program development, equipment, contract options and opportunities for waste haulers to connect with food waste generators and composters; food waste diversion policies and legislation; on-site food waste recycling technologies designed for commercial establishments and institutions.

To view the entire program for the Composting and Organics Recycling Conference and Food Recovery Forum, click here.

About the Author(s)

Stuart Buckner, Ph.D.

President, Buckner Environmental Associates LLC

Stuart Buckner, Ph.D., is president of Buckner Environmental Associates LLC, a consulting firm specializing in organics management.

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