New Indiana initiative aims to improve recycling rates by reducing food waste

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 12, 2016) -- “Think before you trash.”

That’s the model leaders of the new Indiana Food Scrap Initiative say Hoosiers need to start following.

It’s a line of thinking that works for all recyclable materials, but this new organization is focusing specifically on reducing food waste.

Indiana has one of the lowest recycling rates in the country, about ten percent below the national average. Indiana Recycling Coalition Director Carey Hamilton says, getting the biggest institutions in the state on board with recycling their food would go a long way toward improving that rate. Already, many were involved in the conversations to create the new initiative.

“Hospitals and universities, grocers, all of those organizations are already involved in the launch of this food scrap initiative because they want to reduce the amount of waste coming out of their cafeterias and food production facilities,” Hamilton says.

Food represents twenty percent of the waste in America’s landfills. To reduce that, recycling experts suggest grocers and distributors partner with area food banks to donate food that doesn’t sell in time in their stores. They also suggest companies and residents compost food scraps and spoiled fruits and vegetables.

The initiative will be meeting regularly to discuss goals and how the key stakeholders want to move forward.

The next meeting is April 27th from 10 a.m. to noon. Details will be posted on the Indiana Recycling website.

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