Did you know? 86% of Central Ohio residents are concerned about the amount of food waste every day in Central Ohio.

Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative Food Waste Action Plan

The Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative is a collaboration of businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies within Franklin County who represent the food, farm, education, health sectors who are all working towards a single common goal: the elimination of wasted food. The Initiative is convened and supported by SWACO.

You can read about the Initiative’s plan to cut food waste in Central Ohio in half by 2030 below.

Action Plan
Did you know? The Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative’s Food Waste reduction hierarchy builds on the hierarchy created by US EPA.

Approach How Do We Reduce Our Food Waste?

Reducing food waste in Central Ohio starts with knowing our numbers. SWACO’s 2019 Waste Characterization Study found that the most common material entering the landfill is food.

The Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative fights food waste with a holistic approach, pursuing solutions for preventing, recovering, and recycling of food waste, as show in the image on the right.

Learn more about the materials entering the Franklin County Sanitary landfill and help us cut food out of our waste stream.

SWACO Waste Characterization Study
Did you know? For every meal missed by struggling neighbors in our community, three meals are sent to the landfill.

The Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative Our Partners

The Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative gathered together partners from across the region to reduce food waste- because we know that no one organization can do it alone. From public health departments to national corporations, national non-profits, and local restaurant favorites, we have a wide range of partners working together with us.

Partner List

Shared Goals Collaboration with the Local Food Action Plan

Save More Than Food and the Central Ohio Food Waste Action Plan were developed in coordination with the Columbus & Franklin County Local Food Action Plan, which provides common goals and actions to create a fair and sustainable food system that benefits our economy, our environment, and all people. Goal D of the Local Food Action Plan calls for prevention of food-related waste and the Local Food Board remains engaged in this work through their support of the Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative.

Learn MoreRead the Local Food Action Plan

Joining the Efforts of National and International Food Waste Leaders

The Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative has aligned goals and approaches with national and international leaders on food waste. We are keeping good company! Read about the work of our aligned organizations.

USDA, FDA, and EPA collaborate on food waste reduction In a rare collaboration between the three leading United States government agencies on food and environmental regulation, the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency are working together to reach 50% food waste reduction by 2030.
United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal #12, “Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns” includes eight target accomplishments. Target 12.3 is the reduction of per capita food waste in half by 2030. Read more about international work and measurements below.
Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) Working with major cities across the United States, NRDC is leading food waste reduction efforts at the community level with resources, awareness tools, and data that is shared across the nation.
ReFED ReFED is a multi-stakeholder nonprofit working toward 50% food waste reduction in the US by 2030 through a data driven approach. The organization provides data and insights to support new policies, business practices, and non-profit work across the nation.
Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative in Action

Check Out Some of the Initiative’s Recent Work Areas:


From Waste to Resources

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) serves the region with a mission to improve the community’s solid waste stream through effective reduction, recycling, and disposal. As facilitator of the Central Ohio Food Waste Initiative, SWACO is supporting food waste reduction for the region, along with their other waste diversion programs for recycling, household hazardous waste, grants, and more.

Recycle Right
Waste Reduction Grants
Did you know? Each Central Ohio resident wastes over 30 gallons of water a year that was used to grow food that is thrown away.

Take the Quiz Test Your Knowledge

Are you a food waste phenom? Find out by testing your knowledge with the Save More Than Food quiz. Share your results on social media and test your friends too!

Take the Quiz