By now, you’ve probably heard about the world’s problem with food loss and waste. An estimated 1.3 billion metric tons of food go to waste each year, affecting our economy, our well-being and our environment. What you’ve probably heard less about is the progress being made in reducing food loss and waste, and what needs to happen in the future to address this problem.
The Carton Council of North America and AMP Robotics recently announced that a carton-plucking robot has been installed at Dem-Con Companies, a recycling, processing and disposal company in Minneapolis.
1987 was a big year for recycling and the founding of several notable recycling organizations, including NERC and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.
A national study by MIT researchers provides one of the first in-depth looks at the characteristics of places that have adopted food recycling, revealing several new facts in the process. For instance: The places deploying food-scrap recycling programs are located throughout the country, not just in well-off coastal areas with popular environmental movements. Significantly, cities with food-scrap recycling often have “pay as you throw” garbage collection policies (PAYT), which typically charge residents for exceeding a certain volume of trash. These programs make people more active participants in waste collection by having them limit and sort garbage. Thus, adopting PAYT paves the way for food-scrap recycling.