Reasons to Reduce Food Waste

  • Wasting food costs money and natural resources, including water and land, that are spent in producing, transporting, preparing and buying food
  • In Canada, about 30-40% of food produced annually is wasted, ending up in landfills or compost
  • Food waste and organics in landfills create large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas  

By reducing the amount of avoidable food waste thrown away, residents can save money, and cut down on the amount of garbage produced at home.  As a City, reducing food waste means that we can increase the amount of waste diverted from landfill.  

A graphic showing the food waste hierarchy

Reducing the amount of wasted food, instead of composting or throwing it in the garbage, is the most environmentally-friendly and cost-effective option (Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, 2017)

What Can Residents Do to Reduce Food Waste?

Here are some easy and helpful tips to get you started: 

Plan Your Shopping Trips

  • Check your fridge and cupboards first to see what you already have
  • Make a grocery list before you go
  • Buy smaller amounts of foods that expire quickly (like fresh fruits and vegetables)

Store Food To Keep it Fresh

  • Move older food items to the front of the fridge or cupboard, so they’re easy to see, or set up an “eat first” section
  • Set your fridge at 4oC or lower and freezer at -18oC or lower
  • Some foods can be frozen for longer storage
  • Separate items into smaller portions before freezing them 

Plan Your Meals

  • Eat older food items first
  • Create weekly meal plans for easy shopping and cooking
  • Serve smaller portions to guests, and offer seconds

Use & Reuse Leftovers

  • Love your leftovers and use them up for your next meal or in new recipes
  • Offer extra leftovers to your friends and neighbours
  • Donate unopened, non-perishable foods to the food bank
  • Encourage guests to take leftovers home with them

National Food Waste Reduction Strategy 

The City of Edmonton has been working with the National Zero Waste Council (NZWC) on food waste initiatives. NZWC is developing a multi-year strategy to reduce food waste. The strategy is built on three pillars: policy change, innovation and behaviour change. 

Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada

Waste Reduction Updates

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