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Weds, Nov 15, 2017


INDIANAPOLIS – Today, the Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) celebrated America Recycles Day with nearly 40 sustainability professionals, by touring two shining examples of food waste recovery and composting in central Indiana. America Recycles Day has been recognized nationally since 1997 as a day to celebrate and raise awareness about recycling and composting.
For two years, the IRC has led the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative (IFSI) a statewide effort to divert food waste from disposal. Nearly 100 stakeholders meet regularly to learn, discuss and build infrastructure to reduce, donate and compost food waste. A national study (www.ReFED.com) estimated that 52 million tons of food is wasted annually – equaling approximately $218 billion in waste each year. Composting food waste not only reduces waste sent to landfills and the associated greenhouse gases, it enhances soil quality and reduces soil erosion – important benefits in an agricultural state.
Today’s tour gives participants an opportunity to see, first hand, successful examples of food waste composting.
“America Recycles Day is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of waste reduction, recycling and composting, for Indiana’s environment and for our economy,” said Carey Hamilton, IRC Executive Director. “Piazza Produce and GreenCycle are two examples of Hoosier companies creating green jobs while saving money and resources through food waste diversion.”
Piazza Produce, a 47-year-old customer-focused company in Indiana that provides fresh produce and specialty foods to restaurants across the Midwest, is Indiana’s first certified zero-waste business (meaning that 90% or more of its waste is diverted from disposal).
“Piazza has been on a path towards zero waste since 2005 and is proud to work with the IRC and others to increase food rescue efforts and food waste composting in Indiana,” said Scott Lutocka, Facilities & Sustainability Manager, Piazza Produce. “Our company has saved more than $1.6 million and diverts about 1.38 million pounds of food waste annually to help our bottom line and the environment.”
GreenCycle of Indiana, with four composting locations in central Indiana, offered a first-hand experience for tour attendees on the processing of food within a commercial composting facility and creating a value-added end product, humus. GreenCycle has been composting organic debris like brush and leaves for 25 years, and began incorporating food waste in 2016 when demand began and state rules changed to be more welcoming to food waste in composting.
“GreenCycle has long provided opportunities for communities, businesses and residents to create valuable soil resources out of organic waste,” said John Repenning, Owner and Operator, GreenCycle of Indiana. “Being able to add nutrient-rich food scraps to the compost mix helps us produce a high-grade topsoil product, while keeping more greenhouse gas-emitting materials out of Indiana’s landfills.”
The Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization formed in 1989 to support waste reduction, reuse, composting and recycling activities in Indiana.  The IRC’s members include state and local governments, business, industry, not-for-profits and individuals.  Visit the IRC website and follow @INRecycling on Twitter.
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