Food Waste Hierarchy from EPA

Over 40% of the food produced in the United States – and the energy, water and money used to produce it – is never used to feed someone – it is wasted somewhere between farm and table. We can take actions to reduce food waste by:

Effective October 1, 2014, all Massachusetts businesses and institutions disposing of over one ton of commercial organic material per week are required to divert that organic material from disposal as trash. This threshold was lowered to a half-ton per week on November 1, 2022.  This law has brought focus to the food waste problem and motivated food establishments to find creative solutions to reducing waste.

What You Can Do:

  • Reduce the amount of food waste that you generate at home.
  • Start composting your vegetable food scraps at home.
  • Bring the food scraps that you can not compost at home (meat, dairy, bones, etc.) to the Needham RTS’s food composting bins. Residents can drop off their food wasteincluding things like meat and dairy that can not be composted at home – in containers at the RTS in the area adjacent to the textile and book recycling containers (which are adjacent to the salt shed).
  • Don’t want to compost at home?  Hire a composting company to collect your compost.
  • Support those in need at the Needham Community Council’s Food Pantry
  • Explore ways that you can support food rescue/food justice programs.
  • Bring your restaurant leftovers home, and remember to eat them! (Even better — you can bring you own container and avoid even more waste.)
  • Ask restaurants you patronize how they handle their food waste.


Resources on the Web