On January 1, the Washington Department of Ecology launched the Washington Center for Sustainable Food Management, a food center hub aiming to connect individuals and organizations across the food system to divert food waste away from landfill disposal. The goal is to halve the more than one million tons of food waste, including 400,000 tons of edible food, dumped in the state’s landfills every year.
The Center will focus on five key areas:
- Advance equity by applying an environmental justice framework to all work
- Build partnerships across Washington and bridge across important sectors of the state’s food system
- Improve data and tracking to better identify opportunities and share best practices
- Drive research that bridges gaps between hunger relief organizations and potential donors, and
- Inspire learning and action to drive systemic change and shift people’s relationships with food.
Ecology will mark Food Waste Prevention Week in April by celebrating the Center’s opening and launching Washington’s first statewide food waste reduction campaign. The agency will focus primarily on consumers’ interaction with food, and it hopes to expand its focus to address food rescue, recovery, and contamination reduction.