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Zero Waste initiatives

Food Matters Project

Philadelphia is testing new ways to reduce local food waste. Support from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) as part of its Food Matters Project makes these efforts possible.

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NRDC Regional Collaborative

The NRDC selected Philadelphia to participate in the Mid-Atlantic Cohort of its Food Matters Project in the summer of 2020.

As part of the project, the Office of Sustainability is teaming up with other cities in the region to test and learn from food waste reduction strategies. The other cities are:

  • Baltimore, MD.
  • Jersey City, NJ.
  • Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Washington, DC.

To reduce municipal food waste, these cities will:

  • Collaborate to create policies and programs.
  • Take advantage of regional networks.
  • Share data and resources with each other, as well as the NRDC.

Food waste reduction strategies

As part of the Food Matters Project, Philadelphia will implement several food waste prevention and diversion strategies.

  • For residents: A city-wide campaign promoting educational tools and resources that support household food waste reduction.
  • For businesses:
    • A food service business challenge engaging 10–15 businesses across the city in implementing food waste reduction and diversion strategies.
    • A comprehensive guide for commercial properties covering the dos and don’ts of disposing of grindable food waste in Philadelphia.
  • For municipal properties: A study capturing the successes and challenges experienced by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation facilities participating in the City’s public-private composting pilot project.

Learn more about NRDC-tested strategies for cities.



Email sustainability@phila.gov for more information about the Food Matters Project.