Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) cooperative agreements assist local and municipal governments with projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. Implementation activities will increase access to compost for agricultural producers, improve soil quality and encourages innovative, scalable waste management plans that reduce and divert food waste from landfills.
In 2022, USDA is investing $10.2 million in new CFWR cooperative agreements, and USDA is accepting proposals from June 3, 2022 through Sept. 1, 2022. Learn more or apply through this funding opportunity. For additional information, view our webinar or email UrbanAgriculture@usda.gov.
- USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production: Reducing Food Waste (PDF, 746 KB)
- Video: Composting and Food Waste Reduction Cooperative Agreements
- Webinar for 2022 Composting and Food Waste Cooperative Agreement Applicants
- Composting and Food Waste Reduction Pilot Project Presentation (PDF, 3.4 MB)
- FAQ: Cooperative Agreements - Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 375 KB)
- Learn more about Urban Farming Grants and Engagement Opportunities
- Community Resources to Combat Climate Change and Food Loss and Waste
- USDA Community Compost Grant Opens Up Potential to Compost 25% of landfill waste in Anchorage, Alaska
- Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) Success Stories
Douglas County, Oregon
Douglas County, Oregon and Source One Serenity, a non-profit group working to empower veterans, has a lot to celebrate this Veteran’s Day. With their CFWR-funded vermicomposting project, the organization is working to divert hundreds of tons of food waste utilizing their newly developed worm farm. Maintained by veterans, the social enterprise supports those living with post-traumatic stress disorder by providing both economic and therapeutic opportunities. Funding that is raised from the sale of the final product, worm castings, are used to sustain the healing outdoor experiences Source One Serenity regularly provides for veterans. The castings make their way to local farmers and gardeners while the local VA Medical Center, food bank, and other businesses can sustainably dispose uneaten food and byproducts. Creating job opportunities, assisting veterans, and regenerating the soil; this project is working to foster a circular economy that works for people and the planet. To learn more about their story, please view the Worm Farm Aims to Recycle while Helping Veterans page.
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, Alaska
The Yakutat Tlingit Tribe (YTT) is located in the southeast Alaskan panhandle. This area of the state is rural and remote, and the Tribe is active in protecting local food security, community health and the environment. Through CFWR, the YTT is developing a community compost program that will serve two purposes: 1) provide compost to local producers to help address the acidic soil conditions of the area and 2) divert food from the local landfill which is nearing capacity. Through this project, YTT will host workshops to build local skills in composting and food preservation methods to help address food waste. The workshops will also introduce the concept of cottage industry sales to encourage community members to explore other economic opportunities. For more information on the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, please view the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe Environmental page.
- June 3, 2022 News Release: USDA Advances Food System Transformation with $43 Million for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, Adds New Urban County Committees
- October 5, 2021 News Release: USDA Announces Recipients of Urban Agriculture Grants and Cooperative Agreements
This is a complete list of 2021 urban agricultural cooperative agreement recipients and their project summaries.
- 2021 Projects
City of Richmond Virginia Richmond Compost Initiative The City of Richmond will establish a network of food scrap drop-off stations in collaboration with community gardens, libraries, businesses, and community organizations. These organizations will provide space to house containers where the public can contribute their food waste to this project, which will create compost for community gardens, community-led greening initiatives, and Workforce Training and Development landscaping projects in parks. Compost will be collected from sites on a weekly basis and brought to a central composting site in partnership with Parks’ Workforce Training and Development as well as the Department of Public Works. City of Philadelphia Pennsylvania Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Food Scrap Composting Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) is in the process of launching the first of an envisioned coordinated system of small-scale urban food waste composting sites on city properties. A Sustainability Specialist will be responsible for directly overseeing the data collection and analysis, education and outreach, quality control and reporting for PPR’s food scrap composting program. This position will enable the food scrap composting program to achieve and sustain quality operation and to grow in subsequent years. City and County of Honolulu Hawaii Honolulu Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Pilot Project Collaboration between the City and County of Honolulu Office of Climate Change Sustainability and Resiliency, the Department of Environmental Services, Aloha Harvest, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Zero Waste Oahu, and Supersistence consulting firm - as well as Chinatown businesses and agriculture and garden compost recipients to target the concentrated small food establishments in Chinatown, an area which has long struggled to address food waste as a well-recognized priority problem identified in community plans, and businesses that are not required to comply with local food waste laws. City of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania The Compost Commodity: Pittsburgh's Urban Agricultural Solutions for Managing Organic Waste This project will identify a scalable solution to organic composting for internal city operations and test a multi-level alternative approach to curb-side composting as a method to handling residential organic waste and building soil that fortifies current networks of urban agriculture, community composting, and food waste processing businesses, rather than undercutting them. Kenai Peninsula Borough Alaska Kenai Peninsula Borough Community Compost & Food Waste Recovery Program Kenai Peninsula Borough will partner with Kenai Local Food Connection to expand and model for replication the Community Compost project which solicited interested residents and businesses to segregate compostable food waste for pickup and delivery to a composting site. Blue Lake Rancheria, California California USDA Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction at Blue Lake Rancheria's Daluviwi' Community Garden This project will increase the quantity of waste diverted from landfills by adding Powers Creek Brewery and Honeycomb Coffee to the compost collection route. Compost produced will be used to amend the soil in Daluviwi’ Community Garden and provided for the community garden members and any tribal elders who request a compost delivery to amend their home gardens. City of Stamford Connecticut Stamford's Public/Private Composting Program The City of Stamford will establish a unique private-public partnership with the Stamford Museum & Nature Center to operate and manage a Composting Machine that is capable of processing 500lbs of food waste and turning it into useable compost which will reduce the amount of garbage the City of Stamford brings to landfills. City of Fort worth Texas Expansion of the City of Fort Worth Residential Food Scraps Composting Pilot Program This project will expand the City of Fort Worth Residential Food Scraps Composting Pilot Program's infrastructure allowing the City to reach more residents, increase subscription numbers, and consequently increase the tonnage of food waste collected yearly and composted through the program. In addition, compost will be made more accessible to agricultural producers and community gardens by connecting producers of food waste and end users of organic material. City of Troy New York From the Ground Up: Troy's Environmental Stewardship Initiative The City of Troy will collaborate with the Town of Bethlehem and local business, FoodScraps360, to gradually introduce food waste reduction practices to the residents of Troy. This project will actively engage residents through education and outreach efforts to achieve successful food waste reduction and recovery by addressing the components of the Sustainability Venn Diagram: Community, Environment, and Economy. City of Winterville Georgia The Marigold Composting and Food Recovery Systems: A Zero-Waste Food Initiative The City of Winterville will build six composting stalls to collect and process food excess and refuse from producers and local community members. Compost will be free to the producers who participate in the Marigold Market, Food Hub, and Commercial Kitchen (the Marigold Collective) as well as the Winterville Community Garden and other area residents. County of Mariposa California Expansion of Mariposa County's Food Waste and Organics Collection and Composting Activity Along the HWY140 Corridor This project will enable Mariposa County Solid Waste and Recycling (MSWR) to utilize the full capacity of their existing In-Vessel Composting System to generate composted materials, increase access of agricultural producers to composted material, reduce municipal food waste, divert food waste from landfills. Douglas County Oregon Food Waste Reduction through Vermicomposting This project will divert hundreds of tons of food waste from the landfill annually and be the first organics collection and processing program of its kind in Douglas County, Oregon. The manufactured product worm castings will be provided for local agriculture and individual gardeners. Restaurants and other organizations will benefit by diverting their food waste out of the landfill, and Douglas County in collaboration with a local non-profit Source One Serenity will showcase innovative approaches for environmental stewardship in a rural area with limited resources. City of Los Angeles California Farmers Market Food Waste Drop-Off and Community Composting Program The City of Los Angeles in collaboration with L.A. Sanitation and Environment and L.A. Compost and Kiss the Ground will be establishing a Farmers Market Food Waste Drop-off and Community Composting Program to collect food waste across 14 of LA’s 15 council districts. Food waste collection points will be established at community gardens, churches, parks and farmer’s markets, which will divert a significant amount of organic waste directly from households to local composting facilities. City of Dickinson North Dakota City of Dickinson Backyard Buckets Composting Pilot The City of Dickinson will educate the public on proper soil amendment and soil health to help improve soils in the area while reducing organic waste going to the landfill. This project will provide a series of educational workshops and supplies to participants for composting their food scraps. Bins made from reused pallets will be available premade or for construction. Guadalupe - Coyote Resource Conservation District California San Jose Community Compost Network This project will create a system of community-supported composting sites to intake organic waste and produce carbon-rich soil amendments which will increase access to finished compost for urban gardeners in underserved communities, locally-based food waste management solutions, community building opportunities, strengthen climate resilience from reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and improve soil health. City of West Haven Connecticut Regional Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project The City of West Haven will partner with the local Council of Governments and Center for Eco-Technology to train West Haven and regional school administrators from three participating urban schools and one commissary kitchen in how and why to separate compostable organic waste from the schools. Further, the City will retain a commercial collection contractor to provide collection containers and collection services Housatonic Resource Recovery Connecticut HRRA Municipal Composting Initiative This project will demonstrate that municipalities can create a closed loop sustainable composting system to manage food waste locally, reducing the carbon footprint of offsite disposal and contributing to the waste diversion goals of the state, increase access to compost for residential, community garden groups and local farmers without relying on synthetic fertilizersm and empower municipalities to use readily available compost for stormwater management and soil erosion. City of Cincinnati Ohio Cincinnati Community Composting Collaborative This project will develop multiple small and medium scale (<500 sq/ft) decentralized community composting and food waste drop off sites across the City, utilizing city facilities, community gardens/orchards, and existing compost businesses/non-profit partners to collect vegetative food scraps and create compost to be utilized at multiple urban agriculture sites throughout the City and beyond. City of Tampa Florida Citywide Composting Pilot Program The City of Tampa will partner with Suncoast Compost to double the number of designated drop-off composting sites from four to eight which will create composting opportunities for all residents regardless of whether they live in multi-family units or single-family homes. City of Madison Wisconsin Support for a City of Madison Community Food Waste Reduction Initiative through Community Composting & Commercial Food Waste & Food Recovery Programming This project will accelerate food waste reduction and meet the City goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030 through a community composting initiative and a commercial food waste initiative with restaurants, which both take a multi-sector approach and accelerate economic benefits to community farmers and commercial business owners. City of Upper Arlington Ohio City of Upper Arlington, Curbside Food Waste Collection Pilot The City of Upper Arlington will partner with GoZERO Services to pilot a weekly, curbside collection program for up to 500 households. Collected food waste material will be transported to the industrial compost facility where it is processed and sold back to local farmers and gardeners. GoZERO Services will provide the compost material to the City’s Parks & Forestry Division for inclusion in the city’s various parks, rain gardens, honeybee & butterfly habitats and during seasonal tree planting City of Dallas Texas Dallas Commercial Compost & Special Events Pilot Project This project will reduce food waste and simultaneously provide compost to local community gardens. The compost produced will be made available and easily accessible to qualifying gardens through DCHHS’s Community Gardens Program. Yakutat Tlingit Tribe Alaska Yakutat Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction project The Yakutat Tlingit Tribe will provide a food scrap collection service and use the food scraps to create compost by using an in-vessel composter which has the capacity to process up to 1,100lbs of food waste on a weekly basis. YTT will develop a distribution system for a local market greenhouse and community gardeners to receive the finished compost and host several workshops to build the skills of community members to reduce wasted food and to create their own compost. City of Phoenix Arizona Food Waste Pilot Program in Phoenix Multi-Family Complexes This project will roll out composting to two selected multi-family complexes and offer a learning opportunity for how to successfully market and educate residents on composting correctly.
This is a complete list of 2020 urban agricultural cooperative agreement recipients and their project summaries.
- 2020 Projects
City of Prescott
Prescott Community Compost Program
The city will collaborate with the Prescott Farmers Market, volunteers, restaurants, Yavapai County Cooperative Extension, and Prescott College to design, build and implement the Prescott Community Compost Program. The program will educate the community about composting, reduce food waste by collecting and composting restaurant food scraps, and provide high-quality compost to gardeners and farmers in Central Yavapai County. The program anticipates 28 tons of finished compost over the two-year program.
City of New Haven
New Haven Community Composting Collaborative
The project will bring together local organizations to expand community composting and growing local food. Goals include reducing food waste; generating high-quality compost to support urban agriculture and gardening in New Haven, and convening a Community Composting Collaborative to explore scaling up food waste composting.
Restore Colorado: A Table to Farm Movement
Boulder County and collaborating nonprofits Mad Agriculture (Mad Ag) and Zero Foodprint will create a more circular food economy in which restaurants and consumers provide funding to incentivize healthy soil and conservation practices. Under the “Restore Colorado” campaign, restaurants will be invited to collect an additional 1% fee from customer bills to fund regenerative farm projects.
Partnerships for Food Resource Recovery
The City of Lawrence Municipal Services & Operations will partner with Just Food on a food waste collection pilot to incorporate into its yard waste compost facility; establish a farm gleaning program to provide produce to clients of Just Food, Lawrence Community Shelter, and Sunrise Project; and encourage farmer and gardener access to the composting facility.
City of New York
DSNY-BRS Big Reuse Compost Drop-Offs, Processing, Distribution
DSNY will collaborate with nonprofit composting organization Big Reuse to establish 20 food scrap drop-off locations at community gardens, libraries, residential buildings, and nonprofits near their compost sites. NYC Parks Department will divert wood chips and leaves from landfill disposal. GreenThumb, Brooklyn Grange, Hellgate Farms, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and other urban farms will distribute compost for food production in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. The project anticipates diverting 600,000 pounds of food scraps and green waste from landfills and providing 350 cubic yards of compost to food producers.
City of Philadelphia
City of Philadelphia Cross-Sector Food Waste Diversion
The project will bolster the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s Community Compost Network and will pilot a Food Service Business Challenge, which will provide technical assistance to 10-15 businesses citywide to implement food waste reduction strategies.
Lake County Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project
The project will develop a stronger, more vibrant circular economy for managing food scraps and other organic material. It includes a compost to farmland/community garden demonstration study, strengthening the community gardening network, market development for compost, and education efforts to increase participation rates in the commercial and residential sectors.
City of Fayetteville
Mobile Food Waste Collection and Compost Education Program City of Fayetteville, Arkansas
The project will support the purchase and development of a mobile Food Waste Recovery Trailer that will be transported to events and festivals to collect food waste and educate residents. The City will provide residents with 3.5-gallon food waste containers for the home, allowing waste to be dropped off at several sites. An extensive food waste composting educational program will include a full-time educator to provide information, instruction, and advice on theories and methods of organic composting.
Henderson County Organics Pilot Expansion
The project will improve local infrastructure by expanding the public compost facility, increasing the lunchroom composting program to six additional schools, and starting a residential discounted compost bin program.
City of Paterson
Paterson Grow Healthy - Composting Pilot
Project partners include the City of Paterson, the Paterson Public Schools, and the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension with support from the Center for EcoTechnology. This project will build on Extension’s environmental education within Paterson’s public schools. It seeks to increase composting by the students and staff of two public school buildings; eventually expanding to stakeholders, the entire school district, the City of Paterson, and local institutions that generate significant food waste.
Municipality of Anchorage
Expanding on Success and Envisioning the Future of Organics Diversion in Anchorage, Alaska
The project includes a feasibility study and implementation plan for a municipal-scale composting operation at the Anchorage Regional Landfill, including an education campaign in partnership with the Alaska Food Policy Council, Alaska Waste, and Central Recycling Services. An additional 500 roll carts will be purchased with pick up service to increase composting.
Prince William County
Prince William County Public Schools Food Waste Composting and Education Pilot
The Prince William County Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division (SWD) will work with project partners to implement a food waste composting pilot program for county schools and educate students on the environmental, economic, and social benefits of food waste composting.
City of Gainesville
Gainesville Pilot Composting Program
The project will implement a residential curbside food waste collection program, boost community composting efforts, and develop an overall local food waste strategy. Community outreach will include educational materials promoting the importance of food waste reduction, benefits of composting, and farm use of compost.