State Food Waste Recycling Data Collection, Reporting Analysis
BioCycle Magazine, 2018
BioCycle led the Composting Collaborative’s initiative to analyze state food waste recycling reporting and data collection methods and tools. BioCycle focused on states that reported a tonnage of food waste recycled via anaerobic digestion and composting for BioCycle’s “State of Organics Recycling In The U.S.” report (BioCycle 2017). States were asked specific questions about the factors underlying the food waste recycled tonnages reported. They also were asked more general questions about recommendations to U.S. EPA about food waste measurement and reporting.
Tables in the Report provide states’ responses to these questions; comments received from state officials are included in the text. Developing a national standardized data reporting tool for organics recycling, and more specifically edible food and food waste, were raised by a number of officials. However, most noted that the reality of state-by-state differences in what food waste data is required or not required to be reported, makes that challenging at this point in time. What is realistic — and definitely cited by states as a need — are standardized conversion factors for food waste and edible food.