Michigan Leads Charge in Food Waste to Landfill Reduction

Close up of food scraps being put into a bowl for composting

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Apr 4, 2024

This article is included in these additional categories:

In recognition of Food Waste Prevention Week, Michigan is spotlighting initiatives by two pioneering municipalities, Southfield and Wixom, driving efforts to minimize food waste and its disposal in landfills. This effort aligns with the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan’s ambitious objective to halve landfill-bound food waste by 2030. Given the alarming figure of over two billion pounds of food waste annually ending up in Michigan’s landfills, these local efforts are critical in mitigating methane emissions, a significant contributor to climate change.

The Southeast Michigan region, being the most densely populated in the state, stands to make a substantial impact toward achieving this statewide goal. A noteworthy initiative, Make Food Not Waste, is spearheading a comprehensive strategy in Southfield, in collaboration with 17 partners, to redirect all city food waste from landfills. This strategy encompasses a wide range of practices, including source reduction, food rescue, upcycling, and organics recycling, highlighting the multifaceted approach necessary to tackle food waste efficiently.

This program demonstrates the required collaborative effort and is a scalable model for other metropolitan areas. By early fall, the project hopes to provide a detailed blueprint identifying the necessary communication, infrastructure, and logistics to facilitate this expansion, following the Sustainable Food Hierarchy outlined by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Wixom is taking a hands-on approach by initiating a curbside collection program for food scraps and yard waste, converting these into compost for local gardening and city projects. This service will accept various organic waste, emphasizing the community’s role in sustainable waste management.

You might also like: New York Leads the Way in Urban Composting Revolution

These initiatives are supported by strategic partnerships and funding, including an EGLE Zero Food Waste Pilot grant awarded to Make Food Not Waste. The state’s dedication to reducing food waste is further reinforced through programs and initiatives like the Catalyst Communities Initiative, NextCycle Michigan, and partnerships with Michigan Green Communities, aiming to meet and exceed the MI Healthy Climate Plan’s goals.

As cities like Southfield and Wixom lead by example, they pave the way for other communities to adopt similar sustainable practices, underscoring Michigan’s comprehensive strategy towards a substantial reduction in food waste.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This