Measuring food waste is a good first step to reducing it. The Environmental Protection Agency offers a number of tools to help consumers and businesses track their food waste and measure their success in reducing it.
The Food Waste Management Cost Calculator estimates the cost competitiveness of alternatives to food waste disposal, including source reduction, donation, composting, and recycling of yellow grease.
The Waste Reduction Model (WARM Model) model calculates greenhouse gas reductions emissions from baseline and alternative waste management practices for a wide range of materials including food. Results can also be provided in other easy to understand metrics such as gallons of gasoline, barrels of oil, cars off the road, and homes powered
Participants in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge have access to data management software and technical assistance to help them quantify and improve their sustainable food management practices. Participants receive an annual climate profile report that translates their food diversion data results into greenhouse gas reductions as well as other measures such as “cars off the road” to help participants communicate the benefits of activities implemented.
EPA Municipal Solid Waste Characterization Reports provide national waste generation, recycling/composting, and disposal data that can be used to estimate or compare to local data and trends.
More information and links to other measurement tools and resources, see www.epa.gov/foodrecovery