The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the City of Philadelphia today for its innovative food recovery achievements at the Philadelphia Prison System that include composting 1.35 tons of wasted food each day and saving the city $31,000 each year in landfill fees.
The city was among more than 800 governments, businesses and organizations nationwide that participated in the 2015 EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. These entities diverted food waste from entering landfills or incinerators through a variety of innovative actions.
“The Philadelphia Prison System sets a tremendous example on using innovation to reduce food waste,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Businesses and communities across America are taking positive steps to address the food waste challenge, and they’re saving money, helping the environment, and feeding hungry people in the process.”
The city received special recognition for its achievements nationally under the innovation category. Along with the composting, the Prison System’s food recovery program provides inmates with hands-on job training in horticulture and urban gardening onsite at the Orchard Program located on property behind Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center on State Street.
Nationwide, Food Recovery Challenge participants diverted nearly 606,000 tons of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators in 2014, nearly 88,600 tons of which were donated to people in need.
For more information on the Food Recovery Challenge, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food.