Local partners in food scrap recycling in Nashville

NRDC – In 2015, NRDC selected Nashville as its pilot city for developing high-impact local policies and actions to address food waste by preventing food from being discarded, rescuing surplus food to direct to hungry people, and composting and digesting food scraps. Today, the Nashville Food Waste Initiative, led by Urban Green Lab with support from NRDC and the Environmental Law Institute, engages governments, consumers, businesses, nonprofits, and communities, developing and implementing strategies and tools as models for cities around the country.

WWF Food Waste Audit at HG Hill Middle School in 2019

After maximizing food waste prevention and surplus food donation (as per the food recovery hierarchy), food scrap recycling remains a crucial method for diverting food waste away from landfills. Research from NRDC found that as much as 178,920 tons of food is wasted annually in Nashville, with roughly 67 percent of this waste coming from industrial, commercial, and institutional generators. In addition, research conducted for the Davidson County Solid Waste Master Plan indicated that food and other organics are a significant part of the local waste stream, accounting for nearly a quarter of all county waste destined for the landfill. With the main landfill used by Nashville expected to close within a decade, there is even more pressure to raise the city’s low overall diversion rate of just 18 percent.

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