The first summit was a great success as it created a setting for food waste to be at the forefront of discussion. There were representatives from an array of industries including educational institutions, manufacturers, non-profits, consulting firms and businesses in the service sector spanning food waste reduction, recovery, recycling, and diversion strategies and techniques. “We never intended to have another summit but demand is there,” says Dan Nickey, Interim Director at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center. “And we just learned that the amount of organics in Iowa landfills has increased.”
This increase came to light with the release of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' 2017 Waste Characterization Study. In the 2011 study, food waste accounted for 13.3% of the municipal solid waste composition. In the 2017 study, food waste now accounts for 20.9% of the total composition and 7% of that remains in its original packaging, having never even been opened.
The 2018 summit will include keynotes, panel discussions, and interactive workshops that will allow attendees to discuss ways to tackle food waste as well as showcase their own efforts to reduce food waste. "I'm looking forward to building off of last years' momentum through continuing the discussion and collaboratively developing actionable solutions”, says Joe Bolick, Communications and Public Relations Manager at the IWRC.
In February, a Call for Presentations will be available for those interested in speaking, registration will be open soon, and sponsorship opportunities are available now. For more information, visit iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit.