EPA Announces New Version Of An Interactive Excess Food Opportunities Map
On May 21, 2019, EPA announced a new version of a mapping tool designed to assist in the reduction of food waste by displaying facility-specific information about potential generators and recipients of excess food. According to EPA, the Excess Food Opportunities Map serves as an online “matching” service, linking, for example, owners of anaerobic digestion facilities with people looking to dispose of organic waste, including excess food. These anaerobic digestion facilities control organic decomposition in an oxygen-free, sealed tank to produce bioproducts and biosolids for on-site use or sale. This interactive map is part of EPA’s attempt to address the 133 billion pounds of wasted food in the U.S. through the diversion from landfills. It displays locations of potential excess food generators and recipients of excess food in industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. The interactive and easy-to-use map was initially designed in 2014 by the Office of Research and Development’s (ORD) Regional Sustainability and Environmental Sciences Research Program (RESES). Since then, it was taken over by the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) and has evolved from a regional tool to a national one. The most recent version 2.0 includes 1.2 million potential excess food generators and identifies about 4,000 recipients.