Campuses are required to report on composting (on or off-campus) to participate in this category. Including aerobic, anaerobic, and vermicomposting.
Watch > Tutorial Video for the Food Organics Category
The following materials are included in the food waste organics category:
- Pre and post-consumer food waste
- Compostable service ware
- Used cooking grease
The main goal of the Food Organics category is to recognize campuses that are successfully implementing food waste minimization activities that address overage including portion control techniques and preparing food to order. The secondary focus for this category is how food waste recovered is managed (i.e., donation to people, composting, etc.) Campuses need to have the ability to track and report on all campus food waste and any organic materials handled alongside food waste reporting. Food waste generated in office and campus residential settings and/or special events can be included in addition to what is collected from dining facilities. Food materials that are donated to people, fed to animals, used as biofuels or composted, can also be counted in this category.
To address the first and most important tier of source reduction, schools will be given a point for every food waste minimization activity that is being implemented. During registration, schools will choose which activities they are implementing from the list below. A total of 65 points total can be earned for food waste minimization activities to prevent food overage. If a school is among one of the top-ranked schools at the end of the competition, the CR2ZW team will request documentation of these programs as part of the final vetting process to determine category winners.
Food Waste Minimization Programs to Prevent Food Overage:
- System to measure and reduce food waste in back-of-house food preparation (10 pts)
- Campus policy focused on meeting or exceeding goal to minimize food preparation overage each day (10 pts)
- Portion control techniques (trayless/small plates/pay-per serving instead of all you can eat) (10 pts)
- Preparing food to order (10 pts)
- Pre-consumer composting (10 pts)
- Reusable to-go containers (5 pts)
- Compostable service ware (5 pts)
- Front-of-house awareness campaign (i.e. Weigh the Waste, Project Clean Plate) (5 pts)
Once the competition has begun, schools must submit weekly weights for the following food waste recovery streams:
- Food donated to people
- Food fed to animals
- Food used for industrial purposes (i.e., biofuels)
- Food and/or compostable service ware composted
Food waste recovery streams are prioritized based on the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy. According to the hierarchy, food recovery actions are prioritized by their benefit to the environment.
Food waste minimization activities and food waste recovery actions that are higher up on the EPA’s Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy receive a higher score. For example, 100 lbs. of food that is donated to people will receive more points than 100 lbs. of food that is composted.
To calculate the final score, the total points earned for food waste minimization activities will be added to the following tiers; each of the food waste recovery tiers have a multiplier to give credit based on the hierarchy (Donate to people = .5, Feed to animals = .3, Used for industrial purposes = .2, Food composted =.15).
Below are the calculations that are used to determine a school’s score once weights are submitted:
- Weight of food donated to people/ Total weight of food waste x .5 = A
- Weight of food fed to animals/ Total weight of food waste x .3 = B
- Weight of food used as industrial purposes / Total weight of food waste x .2 = C
- Weight of food and/or compostable service ware composted/Total weight of food waste x .15 = D
A + B + C + D + Points for food waste minimization = Total Food Waste Score
A school’s final score is the sum of each of the tiers + points for food waste minimization activities shared during registration.