Center for EcoTechnology Tools

These resources were originally developed by the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) under contract to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) as part of MassDEP’s RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts program. CET has modified these documents to remove Massachusetts-specific information so that they can be applied region-wide.

  • COMMUNITY TOOLKIT: Adding Food Waste to a Yard Trimmings Compost Facility
    • Existing municipal yard trimming composting sites represent an under-used potential to quickly increase the capacity to effectively process food scraps locally. COMMUNITY TOOLKIT: Adding Food Waste to a Yard Trimmings Compost Facility, published by the Center for EcoTechnology in partnership with BioCycle, will help municipalities determine how to employ this strategy in their community.
  • Source Reduction Guidance
    • The Source Reduction Guidance document includes information on the source reduction of food waste at institutional foodservice operations. Guidance includes strategies such as waste tracking, meal planning, food purchasing, and dining hall design.
  • Source Separation Guidance
    • The Source Separation Guidance document was developed with health officials for health officials. It is intended to provide best practices for acceptable handling, storage, and hauling of this material, and to assist health agents that may be unfamiliar with wasted food separation for composting.
  • Food Donation Guidance
    • This document is intended to provide guidance to organizations interested in establishing food donation programs by offering a broad overview of how successful food donation programs should be structured.
  • Hauler Contracting Guidance
    • This document provides guidelines for businesses and institutions to help set up contracts for hauling trash, recyclables, and/or organics, effectively manage these services, and adjust contracts.
  • Crossing State Lines: Getting the Most Out of Radius Provisions in Food Waste Disposal Laws
    • Among the nine U.S. states that have passed commercial food waste disposal legislation, five include radius provisions. Businesses that generate wasted food are subject only if there is a food waste processing facility within a designated distance. This insight demonstrates how proactively including the catchments of facilities in border states can give food waste policies a boost as in-state infrastructure catches up with the demand.
  • Food Waste Separation for Anaerobic Digestion Processing
    • This document provides specific guidance for source separating food scraps for anaerobic digestion. Guidance includes best practices for source separation in the kitchen, hauler collections and frequencies, outdoor storage practices, as well as frequently asked questions when collecting food scraps for anaerobic digestion.
  • Northeast Anaerobic Digestion Accelerator – Food Waste Digestion Insights
    • The insights document reviews the anaerobic digestion (AD) fundamentals and provides examples of service providers — haulers and food waste preprocessing and digester facilities in the Northeast. Developed in collaboration with BioCycle Connect, LLC, readers can learn more about varied types of anaerobic digestion facilities and guidance for managing contamination.
  • Washington, D.C. Spotlight – Latino Economic Development Center
    • Learn more about DC food businesses that are reducing, rescuing, and recycling their wasted food. These businesses are an inspiration to other generators and their stories can be motivational tools to inspire others to implement or expand their own programs.

RecyclingWorks in MA Tools

These resources were developed by the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) under contract to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) as part of MassDEP’s RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts program. Although these documents reference the state of Massachusetts, they are public documents and may be applicable region-wide.

  • Food Waste Estimator Tool
    • RecyclingWorks has compiled industry data from published reports and studies, which can be used as guidance for facilities with little to no current wasted food diversion programs in place. Select the industry category that best fits your business or institution to start estimating your wasted food today.
  • How to Reduce Food Waste
    • A resource for businesses and institutions with tips and guidelines to save money, improve labor efficiency, and reduce waste
  • Food Waste Diversion Guide For Restaurants
    • Guidance for starting or expanding a wasted food diversion program at a restaurant, including tips for evaluating current operations, designing the program, staff training, and monitoring and maintaining the program.

Additional Tools

  • ReFED
    • This collaboration of businesses, nonprofits, foundations, and government leaders is dedicated to reducing wasted food in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2030. In March 2016, ReFED released the Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste, an economic study of wasted food aimed at providing a feasible guide for action. It features 27 of the most cost-effective ways to reduce wasted food based on societal economic value, business profit potential, and other non-financial impacts.
    • ReFED’s Food Waste Innovator Database maps commercial and nonprofit entities that are working in the food waste innovation sector. The 350+ entities are mapped by geography and solution type.
  • Further With Food
    • Comprehensive information about food loss and waste in the United States and the solutions dedicated to reducing it. This virtual resource center offers a broad spectrum of users – such as businesses, government entities, investors, NGOs, academics, and individuals – a platform to find and share information about proven solutions and innovative new approaches to reduce the volume of surplus food generated, feed hungry people, and divert food and scraps to the highest beneficial use.
  • Save the Food
    • The Natural Resources Defense Council has partnered with the Ad Council to develop a host of resources to help communities and individuals address the important issue of wasted food.
  • BioCycle
    • BioCycle is a great resource for organics recovery information through its conferences, websites, and publications.
  • Feeding America
    • Feeding America provides a directory of more than 200 food banks nationally, as well as research and reporting on hunger across the United States.
  • Food Rescue US
    • Food Rescue US is made up of individuals and nonprofit organizations who provide for food insecure individuals and families.
  • The Compost Navigator
    • This BioCycle tool helps locate composting facilities, anaerobic digestion sites, and organics collection services near you.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
    • The NRDC has done comprehensive analyses on the importance of the wasted food issue and has developed many resources to address the problem. The Food Matters project at NRDC partners with cities to provide technical expertise, best practices, and other tools to help them achieve reductions in wasted food. Resources include a policy and program toolkit, strategic communications and partnership guide, and more.
    • Food Waste Policy Gap Analysis and Inventory: MidAtlantic, Southeast, and Great Lakes Regions: These three regional reports were prepared for NRDC by the Center for EcoTechnology, the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, and BioCycle Connect, LLC to provide an overview of existing food waste-related policies and opportunities for furthering food waste reduction in states within each region.
  • Food Waste Reduction Alliance: Best Practices and Emerging Solutions Guide
    • This toolkit was developed to help guide companies through the basic steps in wasted food reduction. Included are sections on how to get started, as well as suggestions for identifying a range of solutions.
    • FWRA has undertaken assessments of the volume of wasted food being produced by each member sector – manufacturing, retail, and foodservice. It has also developed recommended emerging solutions and best practices for food manufacturers, retailers, and food-service operators.
    • A nationwide resource to help reduce wasted food with the goal to reduce hunger and improve the environment. Through, gardeners that have excess produce can locate a food pantry near them, find directions to the pantry, as well as the pantry’s day/time for receiving donations.
  • Funding Opportunities for Organics & Compost Related Businesses in the Northeast
    • Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) compiled the funding opportunities for organics and compost-related businesses from state and federal agencies in the Northeast. These states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The document does not include information regarding possible funding from foundations and other organizations.

The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) helps people and businesses save energy and reduce waste. CET has partnered with the USDA and EPA to offer free assistance to businesses and institutions interested in implementing programs to reduce and recover wasted food. Programs can include but are not limited to, source reduction, donation, and composting. Contact CET to learn more about food recovery and waste diversion opportunities for your business, institution, clients, or association members: (888) 813-8552 or e-mail