June 26, 2024

The prevalence of food waste in central Ohio is large. With nearly 1 million pounds of wasted food arriving at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill every single day, it’s the largest single resource being wasted in our region. That’s true for most places around the country. Since 2019, the Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative, comprised of businesses, nonprofits, schools and government organizations have been working to have a positive impact. They’ve accomplished a lot.

The 2024 Central Ohio Food Waste Action Plan Update details a breadth of activities that partners across Franklin County are working on and some big opportunities that they’ve identified for the years ahead. Since the first publication of the Plan in 2019, some of the most notable highlights include:

  • SaveMoreThanFood.org launched becoming a local resource for information on food waste reduction, donation and composting.
  • Food rescue organizations have expanded their impact multiple fold over the last few years. Grants have enabled organizations like Columbus Food Rescue and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to increase their number of donors and volunteers and collectively to redistribute over 7.5 million tons of food.
  • Columbus Food Rescue launched Ro’s Kitchen, considered a “transform” kitchen, where produce that will otherwise go bad is transformed into cooked meals for people unable to prepare meals for themselves.
  • Eleven (11) communities started Food Waste Drop Off programs. Today, there are a total of 23 sites in Franklin County where residents can drop off food scraps. Columbus plans to have 50 drop-off sites by 2030!
  • Following a curbside food waste collection program pilot in 2022, the City of Upper Arlington now offers the program to every city resident.

Explore the Plan Update