Global GreenGlobal Green USA’s Coalition for Resource Recovery

Food Waste

Our Goal

Our goal is to accelerate the development of a local, reliable, environmentally-sound, and economical commercial food waste recovery infrastructure for urban centers.

Over 34 million tons[1] of food waste is generated in the US each year. Less than 5% of this food waste is currently recovered. Diverting this food waste from landfills would result in the avoidance of more than 23 million metric tons of CO2 equivilance each year, the same as taking 7 million cars off the road.

Urban areas face particular challenges in deploying food waste recovery solutions given a number of factors, including: the quantity of waste, the lack of availability of sufficient land area to treat it, land values, zoning ordinances, potential alterations to trucking routes, and the need for much more robust end-markets if solutions are to be scaled up.

Our Approach

Global Green seeks to spur innovation and infrastructure development through:

- Convening the supply chain and government agencies

- Modeling innovations on a city scale

- Siting, material handling, and technology evaluation

- Piloting and/or documenting the success of promising organics diversion systems

Our areas of geographic focus include the metropolitan areas where Global Green has offices: New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, New Orleans, Washington DC, and Los Angeles.

Success Stories

Compost Incorporated into California's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance

A growing amount of research links the use of compost to a reduction in water demand for urban and rural landscapes. Global Green supported the inclusion of compost into California's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.

Lassoing in Food Waste from the Effie Awards

While NYC has a wide variety of food donation options, it is still common for hotels and venues of large events to send any edible food waste to landfills – particularly following large events.

Effie Worldwide, Inc. teamed with Global Green USA, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, and Food Cowboy to donate over 120 pounds of unserved food from its 47th Annual North American Effie Awards Gala held June 4 at Cipriani 42nd Street to the New York City Rescue Mission, with Uber donating the transportation.

Global Green’s Coalition for Resource Recovery member Food Cowboy initiated Limo for the Leftovers, a program which uses mobile technology to help address the logistical challenges for venues and caterers to donate surplus food to food banks and soup kitchens. See the full article here.

Report Released: Food Scrap Recovery Pilot Results from Albany, CA

In coordination with waste haulers, city agencies, and property managers Global Green undertook in-depth study comparing diversion rates for buildings the property manager had met the basic requirements of the local organics recovery ordinance, and building where the tenants received kitchen pails (donated by Orbis Corporation) and compostable, water resistant paper bags (donated by Bag to Earth), as well as door-to-door, one-on-one outreach. Take a look at the Executive Summary here. CoRR Members can access the full report here.

Video Feature: Global Green Supports Food Scrap Recovery in Multifamily Buildings

Global Green Presents at Northern California Recycling Association Annual Recycling Update Event

Global Green is a member of the Northern California Recycling Association, a group that coordinates the many efforts to increase waste diversion across the region. Global Green presented at their annual Recycling Update event to an audience of several hundred waste industry, municipal, and non-profit professionals. To view our presentation click here.

Los Angeles Food Scrap Recovery Pilot Expands to 71-Unit Building

Global Green and CoRR members Athens Services and EcoSafe Zero Waste are expanding the pilot, started in Lincoln Heights, even further, to a 71-unit building in LA’s beautiful Old Bank District. To view our blog post on the pilot expansion, click here.

Global Green Introduces First Multi-Family Compost Pilot in Los Angeles

Global Green USA and CoRR member Athens Services, one of L.A.'s largest recycling and waste services company, have joined forces to introduce food scrap recovery to more multi-family buildings, starting in Lincoln Heights. The pilot represents the largest residential building to implement food scrap collection in the city to date. To view our press release click here.

Global Green Kicks Off its "Compost Opportunity Series"

As part of our ongoing effort to promote the use of compost, which enriches the soil as well as providing a needed outlet for the millions of tons of food scraps generated every year, we launched the Compost Opportunity Series. See below for our videos on compost use in NYC.

Soil in the City


Learn How Compost was Used to Build NYC's Highline


NYC Passes Historic Food Waste Bill

This new law mandates the recovery of food waste by the City’s largest food waste generators, which is expected to divert hundreds of thousands of tons of food waste. The bill’s passage is a huge step forward for New York City and the world in facing climate change, as the recovery of commercial food waste will significantly mitigate the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Global Green is proud to have played a major role in this successful effort. To view our blog article click here.

Global Green Testifies Before City Council on Mandatory Commercial Food Waste Composting

Global Green was invited to speak to the New York City council on the value of recovering food scraps as part of reaching the city’s carbon emissions reduction goals.To view our testimony click here.

BigApps for the Big Apple

Matt de la Houssaye advised on the development of mobile apps that would reduce food waste in the New York City’s BigApps Competition. It is the fourth annual contest from the New York City Economic Development Corporation for software developers and members of the public to create web or mobile applications using City data to solve big issues that affect New Yorkers. Matt advised on the development of apps designed to help the over 100 restaurants participating in New York City’s Food Waste Challenge measure and track their food waste, as well as the broader “Cleanweb: Energy, Environment, and Resilience” category. To read more about this innovative app development contest, click here.

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Food Waste Challenge

Mayor Bloomberg announced the launch of a Commercial Food Waste Challenge initiative at the New York Times “Building Sustainable Cities” Conference. More than 100 participating restaurants have pledged to reduce 50 percent of the food waste they send to landfills through composting and other waste prevention strategies.

The initiative was hailed by a broad spectrum of industry and environmental groups. Lily Kelly, Interim Director of Global Green USA’s Coalition for Resource Recovery, praised the Mayor’s efforts. “When more businesses recover their food waste it benefits all New Yorkers by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging investment in local processing infrastructure,” she said. “We are delighted to be working with the Mayor’s office to support this program.” For more information about this initiative, click here.

Global Green Presents at US Composting Council Conference on Opportunities for Food Waste Recovery in NYC and New Jersey

Matt de la Houssaye presented at the USCC Conference in Orlando, Florida. To view Matt's presentation click here.

Global Green Releases Video of the BiobiN

Global Green staff visited the Philadelphia airport Marriott to speak with staff who use the BiobiN, manufactured by CoRR member Wastequip. The BiobiN provides storage of food waste for up to 21 days while minimizing odor and pests, thus reducing the costs of pickup.


Global Green Hosts Food Waste Recovery Conference Featuring Northeast Regional Leaders

Global Green hosted a conference featuring discussion of the economic aspects of food waste recovery. The event brought together NYC and Northeast region government leaders together with key stakeholders from the non-profit and private sectors. Opportunities for business and policy innovation to accelerate the recovery of organic waste were explored including the feasibilty of building new processing infrastructure in New York and New Jersey, state level food waste diversion policies, and markets for end-products. For more information about the conference, click here.

Waste Characterization Highlights the Importance of Food Waste Recovery to Overall Diversion

As part of the ongoing collaboration with international coffee shop Pret A Manger, Global Green conducted a waste characterization of Pret locations that had implemented front- and back-of-house resource recovery systems. The report revealed the strong role that food donations and back-of-house food scrap recovery play in increasing overall diversion. To download the executive summary, click here. For the full report (members only), click here.


New Research: Economic Analysis Sheds Light on Costs of Disposal and Recovery of Food Waste in New York City

Based on a survey conducted with industry stakeholders, Global Green conducted an analysis comparing the costs associated with transporting food waste from New York City to landfills and the Peninsula Compost facility in Delaware. To read the full report, click here.

Document Released: Guiding Principles for Recovering Value from Commercial Food Waste

Global Green released a new document synthesizing research and conference findings to summarie key considerations for public, private, and non-profit stakeholders concerning the deployment of food wats recovery systems and infrastructure. To download the document, click here.

Global Green Presents at BioCycle Waste Coast conference on the Economics of Food Waste Recovery in NYC

Matt de la Houssaye presented at BioCycle's conference in Portland, OR on Global Green's work to date concerning modeling and analysis of food waste recovery options for New York City. For more detaill on the conference and Matt's presentation, click here.

Global Green Presents Food Waste Recovery Options for New York City at Wall Street Green Summit

Annie White presented at the Wall Street Green Summit on Global Geen's work on food waste recovery initiaitive. To read the blog and download her presentation, click here.

Commercial Food Waste Recovery Conference Hosted by Global Green

Global Green brought together public, private, and non-profit agencies to discuss recovery options for New York City's commercial food waste, including collection options, industry trends in project development, and co-digestion at wastewater treatment plants.

Leaders from Government, Business, and Non-Profit Sectors Participate in CoRR's Food Waste Conference

At the Commercial Food Waste Conference we hosted in New York on July 26, the hot topic was the more than 33 million tons of food waste discarded in the U.S. each year. That’s a problem that needs a solution. This conference was the kick-off event for our new initiative to help plan and develop a cost-effective, environmentally sound commercial organics recovery infrastructure for New York City. Read more.

Highlights of a Few Food Waste Recovery Initiatives in Progress in New York City

Composting initiatives are underway in New York City. Grant winners announced for community composting, composting pilot announced between GrowNYC and CoRR member Action Environmental Group, and CoRR member Pret A Manger launches composting at 6 of its stores. To read the blog click here.

How to Get Involved

  • Join CoRR. Contact us at corr[at] for more information.