CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston leaders are teaming up in hopes of cutting down local food waste.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, food waste is the single largest component being sent to landfills. Officials said South Carolina produced an estimated 607,000 tons of food waste last year.
To combat the issue, Charleston County and City of Charleston are collaborating to promote the county's "Table to Farm" campaign as well as the state's "Don't Waste Food SC" campaign.
The Don't Waste Food SC campaign is a state initiative that hopes to educate the community and prevent, compost or donate surplus food. The goal is to reduce South Carolina's food waste by 50 percent over the next 15 years.
"We greatly appreciate Charleston County and the City of Charleston joining the Don't Waste Food S.C. campaign and raising awareness about food waste
in the community," said Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Director Catherine Heigel in a press release. "Building partnerships like these will help our state truly make an impact on this 607,000-ton issue. Collaboration is the key to reducing the amount of food being added to our landfills and connecting food resources with communities in need."
Officials hope the county's Table to Farm initiative will make more local restaurants aware about the available composting program and subsequently,
curb food waste being sent to local landfills. According to a county study, 37% of the county's commercial waste is compostable material that could be diverted.
The city of Charleston also recently received a gr ant from SC DHEC for a pilot program that will help restaurants in the Upper Peninsula Initiative create
compost programs and encourage food recovery programs.
To reduce or prevent food waste at home, officials recommend:
- Plan your meals for the week before you go shopping
- Make a shopping list based on planning
- Include quantities on your list
- Shop your refrigerator, cupboards and pantry before going to the store
- Consider buying from local farmers
- Don't be tempted by sales
- Freeze food such as bread, sliced fruit or meat that you know you won't be able to eat in time.