Officials: Too much food going to landfill

1:50 pm August 20th, 2012

Nearly one-third of Pierce County’s waste is food, making it the largest category of material being dumped at the county landfill.

That’s the word from county officials who are taking their case for less food throwaways to the pubic.

In 2010, the county began exploring how to manage and reduce food waste, and is now asking for the community’s input via a series of public workshops from August to October.

“Whether it’s someone cleaning out their refrigerator or a restaurant disposing of unfinished meals, we throw out tons of food every day,” said Rick Johnston, Public Works and Utilities solid-waste project coordinator. “We need to find an efficient and effective way to manage our food waste. We want your feedback on this issue, so we can develop a plan that fits the needs of our community.”

The public is invited to attend one of 15 workshops that will be held across Pierce County to learn more about food waste and several options for managing it. Attendees will be asked to weigh in via a survey at the end of the workshop. The workshops will be held between Aug. 16 and Oct. 2. Included on the schedule are:

• Eatonville Aug. 28, 12 to 1:30 p.m. at Eatonville Community Center.

• Graham Sept. 19, 12 to 2 p.m. in the lodge at Frontier Park.

• Orting Sept. 17, 12 to 2 p.m. at Orting Multi-PurposeCenter

• Parkland-Spanaway, Sept. 26, 5 to 7 p.m. at Sprinker Recreation Center.

The sessions will include displays and an opportunity to ask questions. Participants will be asked to take a short survey. A virtual workshop will also be available on Pierce County’s web site for those who can’t attend one in person.

“We encourage you to come learn why food waste is a problem in the United States, what Pierce County is already doing about food waste, and which options are being considered to manage it,” Johnston said. “We want to use the data we have and feedback from our residents to create a reasonable program at a reasonable cost.”

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