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Organics Management

NEW - Food Waste Prevention Workshops

A series of full-day workshops dedicated to regional food issues including: a review of state and regional waste disposal trends; local opportunities and barriers to divert food from the disposal stream; and regional food recovery options.

The Department of Ecology is hosting six workshops across the state: five in August and one in October. The agenda follows for your convenience. Please register to attend the workshop of your choice. We look forward to seeing you!


Please contact Mary Harrington with any questions at 360-407-6915 or

Food Waste Prevention and Food Recovery

Food waste is the largest component of our state and country's municipal solid waste. 2015-16 state data shows that:

  • Food is 17% of overall garbage, 24% of residential garbage, and 19% of commercial garbage.
  • Good food is being thrown away. Edible food makes up 8% of overall garbage and 10% for both residential and commercial garbage.

The EPA developed a Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy recommending ways to prevent and reduce wasted food. They also have food waste prevention information for residents, businesses and organizations on their websites. Google the following search phrase to learn more "EPA Food: Too Good to Waste" and "EPA Food Recovery Challenge".

EPA Food Waste Heirarchy image.

Food Donation

We have state and federal laws that protect food donors from liability when donating wholesome food in good faith to a nonprofit organization.

Many organizations donate food. For example, Sea-Tac Airport provides enough food for over 385 meals per week to the local food bank. For guidance on what can be safely donated, check with the organization receiving the food, and see the WA State Department of Health's Charitable Food Donations guidelines.

Food rescue groups that help connect food donors with food distributers include:

Other Resources