$5 Million Available to Fight Climate Change, Feed Hungry: Cap-and-Trade dollars fund food waste prevention and rescue projects throughout California.

CONTACT: Heather Jones (916) 319-9936 Heather.Jones@calrecycle.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO: As part of the state’s effort to combat climate change, divert organic materials from landfills and alleviate food insecurity in California, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery is providing $5 million in grant funds for food waste prevention and food rescue.

Grant awards range from $25,000 to $500,000 to accommodate small and large projects. The deadline to submit grant applications is July 18.

“Strengthening California’s food recovery infrastructure will help feed communities in need and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time,” said CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline. “Preventing food waste and recovering edible food is not only a way to battle hunger in our state, but to protect Californians and our natural resources from the ravaging effects of climate change.”

Food waste comprises about 18 percent of the material disposed in California landfills, the highest amount of any material. As it decomposes, it emits methane, a short-lived climate pollutant that contributes to climate change. Much of the food waste and methane at landfills is preventable through smarter consumer planning and purchasing. Edible food can also be safely recovered and distributed to disadvantaged communities and elsewhere around the state.

CalRecycle is currently accepting applications for the grants. Eligible entities include local governments; nonprofit organizations; private entities; state agencies; solid waste facilities; UC, CSU, and community college campuses; public school districts; and qualifying Indian Tribes. Eligible projects include those that prevent food waste from being generated and becoming waste normally destined for landfills and projects that result in rescued food being distributed to people in need.

Food waste prevention and food rescue programs support the methane emissions reduction targets outlined in Senate Bill 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016):

  • SB 1383 establishes targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025.
  • It also requires that not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food be recovered for human consumption by 2025.

The Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that uses cap-and-trade funds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment. Related CalRecycle grant programs include organics grants for the development of composting and anaerobic digestion facilities throughout the state. Additional information is available on the CalRecycle Grants webpage.