Santa Clara County’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency Recycling and Waste Reduction Division selects SCS Engineers to research and create a program to reduce residential food waste using community outreachand education. Prevention programs can help reduce the County’s carbon footprint too, since there is less waste to transport to a landfill.
SCS is focusing on educating residents about changing their behaviors in the kitchen to prevent unnecessary food waste. Increasing awareness and suggesting alternative behaviors that are simple and easy to accomplish, such as eating leftovers, do make an impact. The outreach plan will leverage interpersonal relationships within individual communities to help residents choose behaviors that most conveniently and efficiently prevent waste of their food, money and time.
SCS will review existing research and literature, identify target behaviors to influence change, uncover any barriers to the change to develop strategies to reduce those barriers, develop and conduct a pilot program, and evaluate the results. Based on the pilot, SCS will design a scalable program customized for the entire County, which helps keep the program sustainable.
“We’re excited to have SCS Engineers design a food waste prevention program that the individual cities will be able to bring to our residents,” said Lori Topley, Solid Waste Program Manager for the City of Mountain View. “Reducing food waste was recently identified by Project Drawdown (drawdown.org) as one of the top five solutions to reverse global warming.”