Instead of wasting food and money, Rethink! Join Now!

How much of your food and money are you literally throwing away? The Food Recovery Challenge asks participants to reduce as much of their food waste as possible - saving money, helping communities, and protecting the environment. The Challenge is part of the EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program, which seeks to reduce the environmental impact of materials through their entire life cycle, including how they are extracted, manufactured, distributed, used, reused, recycled, and disposed.

Did you know?

Around 35 million tons of food waste was generated, in 2010, 97 percent of which was thrown away into landfills or incinerators.

More than 14 percent of households in the U.S. were food insecure, in 2009, meaning they did not know where their next meal would come from.

Wasted food means wasted money for businesses and residences.

Food decomposes in landfills to generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Wasted food has economic, environmental, and social impacts. Much of this "waste" is not waste at all, but actually safe, wholesome food that could potentially feed millions of Americans. Excess food, leftovers and scraps that are not fit for consumption and donation can be recycled into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

Who can Participate?

Grocers, universities, stadiums and other venues - rethink business as usual. Learn to purchase leaner and to divert surplus food away from landfills for better uses through prevention, donation, and recycling.

Note: If you are a consumer, learn more about how you can reduce food waste.

This program is accepting new members!





  • Who can join the Food Recovery Challenge?

    Any business or organization can join the FRC as a participant or endorser.

    Participants prevent and divert wasted food in their operations. They follow the Food Recovery Hierarchy. The Hierarchy recommends actions in the following order by - prevention, donation, composting and/or anaerobic digestion.

    Endorsers promote sustainable management of food by educating organizations and businesses about the environmental, social and economic benefits of preventing and diverting wasted food. Importantly, endorsers also recruit organizations and businesses to join the FRC.

    Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers include groups such as grocers, educational institutions, restaurants, faith organizations, sports and entertainment venues, and hospitality businesses.

  • What are the benefits of joining the Food Recovery Challenge?

    • - Reduce your environmental footprint.
    • - Help your community by donating nutritious, leftover food to feed hungry people, not landfills.
    • - Save money by purchasing less and lowering waste disposal fees.
    • - Establishing donation programs may result in potential tax benefits.
    • - Gain visibility by having your name listed on the EPA’s website.
    • - Receive recognition through awards and social media.
    • - Get free technical assistance in the form of webinars, an online database, and resources to help you plan, implement and track your activities.
    • - Get a free climate change report to highlight your positive effect on the environment.