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Indiana Recycling Coalition Awarded Grant from Closed Loop Foundation to Initiate Commercial Food Composting Program

INDIANAPOLIS, IN –  The Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) is pleased to announce its selection as a recipient of a $50,000 Food Waste Solution Search Grant, made possibly by The Closed Loop Foundation, with the generous support of the Walmart Foundation, who fund research and development of technologies and business models focused on building the circular economy. The IRC, and seven other recipients, were selected from a national pool of over 150 applicants. “We were surprised and impressed with both the quantity and quality of the proposals we saw,” said Rob Kaplan, director of Closed Loop Partners. “We worked with expert advisors from across the industry to help us narrow the pool down to the final recipients.”
“The IRC is grateful to the Closed Loop Foundation and Walmart Foundation for generously funding the launch of the Commercial Food Composting Program in Central Indiana,” said Carey Hamilton, IRC’s Executive Director. “We are working with a diverse set of stakeholders to design an innovative approach to diverting food waste to value-added end uses.”
ReFED, a data-driven organization formed to tackle food waste, estimates that “American consumers, businesses, and farms spend $218 billion a year…growing, processing, transporting, and disposing food that is never eaten.” That amounts to “52 million tons of food sent to landfill annually [21% of landfill volume]…Meanwhile, one in seven Americans is food insecure.”
The IRC will use the funds to build up the collection infrastructure and economies of scale for food waste recovery through the implementation of a Commercial Food Composting Program in Indianapolis. In addition to seeking opportunities for food waste prevention, the IRC will establish an efficient collection route among large commercial generators of food waste (targeting universities, museums, markets, hunger-relief organizations, hospitals, and others). Initially, the IRC will partner with Ray’s Trash & Recycling to haul the food waste and with GreenCycle of Indiana to compost the material. Thus far, IUPUI and Butler University are committed to participation and have generously leveraged funding towards the program.
To make the program more attractive to potential partners, the IRC will offset additional hauling costs for program partners over the one year grant term, in addition to providing educational, training, and material resources tailored to each partner’s needs. Interested commercial entities may contact the IRC for more information.
Since October 2015, the IRC has been tackling food waste reduction in Indiana via the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative, a multi-stakeholder driven group that addresses food waste recovery through education, strategic planning, network-building, and facilitating projects such as the Commercial Food Composting Program.  Closed Loop Foundation’s announcement, published on Recycling Today, can be found here.
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