To reduce the amount of food scraps disposed by the health care industry, food waste recycling programs are being developed in many health care organizations. There are several ways to avoid wasting food: for example, prepare only what is needed, donate excess food, or implement composting programs.
Model Programs in California
In San Diego, Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns are the first hospitals in San Diego to participate in the city’s food scraps composting program. With over 500 beds, the two hospitals are served by the same kitchen, composting about 4 tons of food waste per week. The material from these hospitals represents more than 5% of the hospitals’ waste diversion. Since starting the program in 2012, the hospitals have been able to decrease their trash services from four times a week to three times a week, and saved about $3,394 in tipping fees and waste hauling costs on its five first months of the program.
Model Programs Outside of California
BioCycle’s September 2012 issue includes an article on a Michigan hospital that developed a food waste recovery program that includes food donation to the needy and hauling food waste to an off-site composter.
- California Green Business Program
- BioCycle—Practical Plan For Hospital Food Waste Recovery
- Food Banks and Food Recovery Organizations
- Health Care Industry Waste Reduction and Recycling
- Health Care Without Harm… sustainable food service programs
- Local Assistance
- Mandatory Commercial Recycling
- Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling