excavator in landfill

Food Waste Reduction

Why is Food Waste a Problem?

Wasted food is a social problem: Many of our neighbors struggle to access enough food every day.  1 in 5 children in Tompkins is food insecure. Wholesome, nutritious food should feed people, not landfills.

Wasted food is an environmental problem: Food is the largest stream of materials in American trash. Once wasted food reaches landfills, it produces methane, contributing about 8% of total US greenhouse gas emissions. It also uses 25% of our freshwater resources and 300 million barrels of oil every year to produce food that is then thrown away.

Wasted food is an economic issue: It is estimated that at the retail and consumer levels in the United States, food loss and waste totals $161 billion dollars.  An average family of four throws away over $1,500 worth of good food every year. 

How Can I Learn More to Reduce my Own Food Waste?

Find Tips at these organization websites

The EPA's Reducing Food Waste at Home

The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling Strategies for Residents

The USDA's summary of Food Waste with resources for farms, businesses, schools and consumers

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association's - Virtual ReCook Cafe

View Our Food Waste Reduction Classes Here

Learn to

  • Not Waste A Bite through Meal Planning
  • Use What You Have On Hand with Flexible Recipes
  • Store Your Food Well and Use Up What is Getting Old First
  • Turn Leftovers Into Something New

Enjoy this video from Recycle Tompkins


Aly Trombitas
Agriculture & Horticulture Educator
(607) 272-2292 ext. 150

Last updated August 28, 2023