Reduce Food Waste

fork, plate, and knifeReducing Food Waste and Chaneling Food Waste to Others

Montgomery County’s goal is to reduce waste and recycle more, aiming for zero waste. The highest priority of Montgomery County’s solid waste management hierarchy is to prevent waste or reduce the amount of waste generated in the County in the first place. 

From the last Waste Composition Study completed in 2023, the Recycling and Resource Management Division estimates that approximately 89,000 tons of food scraps are disposed of in the trash in the County annually. 

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Where does wasted food come from?

  • Excess or unwanted food that is still consumable but is not eaten
  • Food scraps generated at home during food preparation
  • Food scraps generated during food preparation in restaurants, delis, cafeterias, hotels, hospitals and other businesses or facilities 
  • Food that is thought to be "expired" or past its' "best by," "sell by" or “best if used by” dates
  • Foods that have blemishes or marks that do not appeal to customers
  • Unused foods from the agricultural sector, such as unharvested crops

Through better practices that result in not generating excess food scraps in the first place we reduce the amount of waste that needs to be managed, potentially resulting in reduced costs in terms of collecting food scraps for composting or disposal.

Foods generated in excess of the generator’s needs that can be consumed, such as prepared foods, baked goods, fresh produce, canned or boxed foods, etc. can be diverted from disposal and donated to food rescue organizations. Channeling this food to others with unmet needs ensures the highest and best use of this food, while also helping to address food insecurity.

Tips to Reduce Food Waste