Food Waste Reduction

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy-Sustainable-Regenerative Lifestyle 

$ To Reduce Waste

The USDA announces $2 million available in cooperative agreements for community compost and food waste reduction.

David Proctor


From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

It is all about the soil!




Community Compost

by David Proctor

 June 3, 2021

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

This article is for your information and is also an opportunity to help your community if you have ideas about composting food waste that otherwise would end up in the landfill.

If I were going to participate in a project like this, I would look at how one could acquire the organic material needed for composting first.

Educating a select part of the community and or businesses to utilize a source separation of food items from their waste collection.

Once the food items are in a separate container, then a designated time for collection can be scheduled.

These food items can be macerated into a type of paste or sludge then placed in anaerobic digesters.

Anaerobic digesters will kill harmful pathogens and any fly or insect larva.

Once through the anaerobic digesters, then the contents can be used for worm farm feed.

The worms will turn the contents into a much higher quality compost through aerobic composting and their digestion.

The end product of worm castings and compost can then be made available to local community gardeners and local organic farmers.

This is a very rudimentary outline of my thoughts to help reduce food waste.

These ideas can be made actionable with funding from this type of program and will work with the correct implementation.

I would enjoy hearing other ideas!

If interested, this is the announcement by the USDA:


Food Waste

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of up to $2 million for local governments to host Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2021. The cooperative agreements support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans and they are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.

USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Office) will accept applications on until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 16, 2021. Projects should span two years with a start date of September 25, 2021 and completion date of September 25, 2023.

“Finding ways to turn food waste into nutrient rich compost is a win-win for farmers, communities and the environment,” Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Gloria Montaño Greene said. “The level of enthusiasm and creativity communities are putting towards this kind of problem solving is inspiring, and USDA is proud to support it.”

Cooperative agreements support projects led by local governments that:

  • Generate compost.
  • Increase access to compost for agricultural producers.
  • Reduce reliance on and limit the use of fertilizer.
  • Improve soil quality.
  • Encourage waste management and permaculture business development.
  • Increase rainwater absorption.
  • Reduce municipal food waste.
  • Divert food waste from landfills.

Priority will be given to projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts and collaborate with multiple partners.
This is the second year the Office has offered this funding opportunity. Examples of previously-selected projects include:

  • Department of Sanitation of New York and nonprofit Big Reuse are establishing food scrap drop-off locations while New York City Parks Department is diverting wood chips and leaves from landfill disposal to create compost. GreenThumb, Brooklyn Grange, Hellgate Farms, Gowanus Canal Conservancy and other urban farms are distributing the compost for food production in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, diverting approximately 600,000 pounds of food scraps and green waste from landfills and providing 350 cubic yards of compost to food producers.

The City of Prescott, Arizona is collaborating with the farmers’ market, volunteers, restaurants, Yavapai County Cooperative Extension and Prescott College to design, build and implement the Prescott Community Compost Program. The program educates the community about composting, reduces food waste by collecting and composting restaurant food scraps and provides high-quality compost to gardeners and farmers in Central Yavapai County, creating approximately 28 tons of compost over the two-year program.
Cooperative Agreements

  • USDA is announcing the second year of funding opportunities for cooperative agreements that support the growing urban agriculture movement and reduce food waste. 
  • Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) cooperative agreements will award $2 million for pilot projects that develop and implement strategies for municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. 
  • Local governments may submit projects that:
    • Generate compost;
    • Provide access to compost to farmers;
    • Reduce fertilizer use;
    • Improve soil quality;
    • Encourage waste management and permaculture business development;
    • Increase rainwater absorption;
    • Reduce municipal food waste; and
    • Divert food waste from landfills.  
  • NRCS will assist on conservation related activities. 
  • Priority will be given to projects that include economic benefits; provide compost to farmers; integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery; and collaborate with multiple partners. 
  • The deadline for applications is July 16, 2021.
  • Last year’s awards included $1.09 million for 13 pilot Cooperative agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) Projects.  
  • The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was established by the 2018 Farm Bill to institutionalize support for urban agriculture. 
  • So far, the office has: 
    • Accepted nominations for a new, 12-person Secretarial federal advisory committee on urban agriculture;
    • Set up pilot FSA county committees focused on urban agriculture; 
    • Awarded its first cycle of grants and cooperative agreements. 

Here is an example of how to calculate the match requirement. If the total project budget is $90,000 thousand dollars, the applicant would request $67,500 in USDA funds which is 75% of the budget in their application. They must provide a match amount of $22,500 which is 25% of the budget. It’s important to remember the minimum award amount for pilot project is $45,000 and maximum is $90,000. Your requested project budget should request funds from USDA within this range.
What types of matches will be accepted? Matching may be achieved by contribution of cash, supplies, services, third-party in-kind contributions or in combination from sources other than funds provided through the grant. Cash can be a recipient’s cash outlay, or cash donation with non-Federal third parties or non-Federal grants. In-kind can be the value of non-cash contributions typically in the form of personnel, goods, and services. Volunteer services provided by third-party professionals including technical personnel, consultants, and others skilled and unskilled labor can be counted as cost sharing or matching if the service is an integral and necessary part of project activities.

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Interconnectness – book launch 1:44
Gerry Gillespie
The Waste Between Our Ears

Quick Tip


The key to large-scale composting is having source separation of materials.

When waste is combined then compacted, it is extremely hard to separate the different waste components.


Gillespie, Gerry. The Waste between Our Ears: Protecting Our Environment and Improving Our Soils with Source Separation. Acres U.S.A., 2020.


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