EPA has awarded $469,924 in grants to support three sustainability projects addressing food waste in the Kansas City area. The recipients are the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, ($95,000), the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) ($174,924) and the Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) ($200,000).
“By working to reduce the waste going to landfills and stopping pollution at the source…,” acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Edward H. Chu said last week, “these sustainable materials management projects will help the Kansas City area become an even stronger and more environmentally friendly community.”
Food waste has been climbing the EPA’s list of priorities in recent years. Conceived in September 2015, the EPA’s U.S. 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal aims to cut food loss and waste in half by the year 2030. The EPA estimates that in 2016 about 328 pounds of food was disposed of without being consumed per person. Separately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 30-40% of the nation’s food supply goes to waste annually — enough to fill the Rose Bowl stadium in Los Angeles, every day.
Even to solution-oriented observers, the numbers are staggering. Fortunately, folks like MARC Solid Waste District Manager Lisa McDaniel have a plan. Serving nine counties and 199 cities across the Kansas City metro, the MARC Solid Waste Management District acts as the region’s solid waste planning agency. It’s main goal is to divert waste from landfills.