World Wildlife Fund Pilot

In Spring 2019, Urban Green Lab participated along with 8 other cities in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Food Waste Warrior pilot to increase awareness of food waste, collect data through student-led cafeteria audits, and recommend systemic advancements. Students, teachers, and volunteers at H.G. Hill Middle, Westmeade Elementary, and Warner Elementary conducted 17 total plate waste audits resulting in over 4,000 pounds of wasted food, of which 1,886 pounds was composted and 636 pounds was recovered and donated.


As a result of the national pilot, it was estimated that food waste in schools could amount to 530,000 tons per year, costing as much as $9.7M per day or $1.7B every school year. On average, 39.2 pounds of food and 19.4 cartons of milk are estimated to be wasted per student per year. Throughout the pilot there was an average 3% reduction of waste with elementary schools averaging a 14.5% reduction.


If schools across the country were able to replicate the results and reduce food waste by at least 3%, it could save $52M per year.


Read the summary and full report here

To learn more, contact Diana Andrew at

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