Food Waste Crackdown | Green Initiatives

Commercial Food Waste Disposal


Photo of Food Waste TruckThe City's commercial food waste recycling program system requires the following steps:

  1. City staff meets with facility administrator, kitchen manager and/or maintenance supervisor
  2. City staff provides technical assistance for on-site and logistics implementation
  3. City staff trains all kitchen, maintenance and administration staff
  4. Facility starts a "Pilot Program Phase" where facility's representative is required to accompany City staff to inspect and evaluate the first three loads at the Miramar Greenery
  5. Once successfully completing the Pilot Program Phase, the facility becomes a regular participant of the program

Please review program's implementation guidelines for

Photo of food waste into rich compostView the current participants who have successfully completed the Pilot Program Phase, and videos of some participants.

Before throwing away food, commercial venues are encouraged to look at other options to divert excess food, such as source reduction and donation to human and animal shelters. For more information, please check the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) San Diego Area Food Recovery Links and Resources. Also, please check the EPA's Food Recovery Challenge website.

Thanks to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act passed by Congress in 1996, food donors such as manufacturers, growers and packers, restaurants, corporate cafeterias, and caterers can participate in the fight against hunger by donating non-perishable and prepared foods without the risk of being prosecuted for liability. For more information on food donation check the EPA's "Feed Families, Not Landfills" webpage.

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 170 "Allowable Deduction for Charitable Donations to ordinary Income Property" encourage donations by allowing C corporations to earn an enhanced tax deduction for donating selected surplus property, including food. Click here for more information.

Several organizations in San Diego will accept certain type of food waste. Here's a list of some organizations for food donation in San Diego. Please contact the organizations directly for more information on their specific requirements.



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