County DEP Launches Campaign to Reduce Food Waste

The county’s Department of Environmental Protection has launched a new public information campaign designed to lower the amount of wasted food tossed each year by residents, businesses and organizations, officials announced.

The goal of the “Food Is Too Good to Waste–Reducing Food Waste Begins With You” campaign is to reduce the county’s estimated 124,000 tons of food waste that end up in the trash each year.

Lowering the amount of that waste is also a goal of the county’s Climate Action Plan.

“We can help reduce food insecurity and the amount of food that is thrown away by buying only what we need and donating excess edible foods to food rescue organizations, food pantries and shelters,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a press release. “This is just part of look out for those who are most in need, something that is key to having a healthy community.”

Sources of the wasted food include edible but unwanted food, food scraps from preparations at homes, restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, hospitals and other businesses or facilities, and food believed to be no good based on “sell by,” “best by,” or “best if used by” dates, among other sources.

Among the ways to reduce food waste are, according to the release:

  • Planning meals in advance
  • Making a shopping list and check expiration dates on the items purchased
  • Cooking the food you buy
  • Cooking smaller portions to cut down on the amount of leftovers, and
  • Saving extra food in reusable containers and adding a label listing the contents and the date before storing in the refrigerator or pantry.

More information is available online.

Screenshot from county PSA