NewGen was retained by the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) to conduct a commercial food waste collection feasibility assessment concentrated on the challenge of providing cost-effective commercial collection of organic food waste, thus increasing landfill diversion rates. The comprehensive, regional assessment spanned both public and private waste generators (restaurants, grocery stores, commercial food processors, etc.) and covered a 13-county area including more than 6.5 million people. The NewGen Project Team developed a market leading 5-year action plan to facilitate the cost-effective increase in the diversion of food and food waste to the landfill.
NewGen completed thorough and extensive research pertaining to food waste collection programs and current trends across the United States with regard to food waste diversion activities. Additionally members of NewGen conducted interviews with generators of food waste, composting processors, as well as collectors of food waste in the H-GAC area. Lastly, NewGen conducted a workshop at H-GAC offices to discuss the findings and recommendations of the report and to foster collaboration for ongoing food waste diversion efforts.
This project specifically addressed the issue of increasing food waste diversion within the region by completing the following tasks:
- Challenges: This task included the development, and execution, of a multitude of interviews and research with generators, collectors, and processors of food waste to outline the various challenges associated with commercial food waste collection.
- Solutions: Based on the research conducted, NewGen developed a series of solutions to address the challenges found.
- Action Plan: NewGen developed an action plan that laid out the priority of the specific tasks, and timing associated with each task. H-GAC is now using this Action Plan as a reference tool to facilitate a future expansion of commercial food waste collection activities in the H-GAC region.
- Workshop: NewGen conducted a half-day workshop to promote this topic. The workshop covered the study completed by NewGen and had several guest speakers and a panel of compost processors in the H-GAC region. As a testament to the success of the project, and subsequent workshop, a local recycling hauler has confirmed they will initiate food scrap collection in the city of Houston in the immediate future.