Denver launches food waste pilot program

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On May 1, the city started a new pilot food waste program that included nine Denver restaurants as well as composting businesses.

Run by the Denver Department of Health and Environment’s Certifiably Green Denver, the program offers free advising to local businesses that wish to run more sustainably. Certifiably Green Denver will work directly with restaurants on an as-needed basis.

According to a news release from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, the city chose restaurants for the pilot because the industry is responsible for 25 percent of the food waste here. It is the second highest generator of food waste after households, which generate 41 percent.

The program is part of the Food Action Plan announced by the city of Denver last summer. For more information on the plan, go to https://bit.ly/2M0MTA5.

“Working with restaurants on this makes so much sense because chefs already are trained to create their menus using as much of any given ingredient as possible,” says Susan Renaud, community engagement administrator for Certifiably Green Denver, in the release. “Chefs also are such visible and valuable contributors to our community, and their attention to food waste will help us reach a larger audience.”

The following restaurants are participating: Ale House, Ash’Kara, Bar Dough, The Bindery, Black Eye Coffee, Little Man Ice Cream, Ohana Island Kitchen, Uncle and Wooden Spoon Café & Bakery. Restaurants will be able to participate in waste audits with the city and receive training on food. The next audit will be held on June 24.

Alpine Waste and Recycling and Scraps, a local bike-powered business, will provide composting services to the restaurants.

We Don’t Waste will pick up food donations from the restaurants three times a week during the pilot as well. We Don’t Waste distributes unused food items to nonprofits and food banks throughout Denver.

The Washington Park Profile wrote about the Food Action Plan in August 2018, https://washparkprofile.com/stories/turning-leftovers-into-meals-for-the-hungry-denver,267535.

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