The Baltimore Office of Sustainability is leading food waste reduction across the region.

BALTIMORE, MD MAY 23, 2019 -- On Earth Day 2019, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young signed the Baltimore Sustainability Plan committing the city to reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030. Baltimore City is prioritizing food waste reduction as the  Department of Public Works (DPW) finds ¼ of municipal residential waste comes from discarded food. In September 2018, the City of Baltimore released its Food Waste and Recovery Strategy - outlining a plan to reduce the amount of wasted food generated using EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy.

To meet these goals, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability (BoS) in partnership with the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) and DPW launched a FREE compost-drop off program. Conveniently located at the Baltimore’s Farmers’ Market and Bazaar - the city’s largest farmers market - positioned under the Jones Falls Expressway - the program launched on May 5th and has doubled participation in just a few weeks. Baltimore is working with a local farmer - Tom Albright - to take the food scraps back to Albright Farm. This is the city’s first-ever free residential food scrap drop-off program. Residents are encouraged to bring their food scraps - uneaten food such as fruits and vegetables, and grains - but excluding meats, dairy and oils - to the market on Sundays.

The farmers market collection is just one of the many programs BoS is implementing. In 2018 - Baltimore was selected as one of two cities in the United States by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) - with support from the Rockefeller Foundation - to research food waste reduction, food rescue and food scrap recycling citywide.

BoS will also be hosting a free film screening of the documentary entitled WASTED! The Story of Food Waste on Tuesday, May 28th at the Parkway Theater (5 W. North Ave.) in Station North from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Leading national and local food waste experts will be discussing their work following the film screening. The event is free and open to the public.

Up to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply—worth $218 billion—goes uneaten each year. This has an enormous environmental impact, from wasted water to climate change pollution. BoS is leveraging NRDC’s expertise to help address the problem, and demonstrate how other cities can do the same. In addition to expertise, NRDC will award a total of $100,000 to local organizations to support the city’s food waste goals. Winners of the grant program will be announced on Tuesday at the film screening.

Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Mayor, City of Baltimore

“To make Baltimore cleaner we need to reduce our waste and it’s important that we start with food waste because nearly half of all litter is tied to the consumption of food.”

Anne Draddy, Sustainability Coordinator, Baltimore Office of Sustainability

“Our Food Waste and Recovery Strategy was the result of input from 75 different organizations and residents coming together to decide how we can make Baltimore more sustainable by focusing on our food system.”

Elizabeth Balkan, Food Waste Director, NRDC

“Saving food saves money and the environment. Cities are uniquely positioned to tackle our national food waste problem, and Baltimore is demonstrating how it can be done. The more cities that follow their lead, the better and brighter the future will be for city residents and future generations.”

Roy Steiner, Managing Director, Food Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation

“Reducing food waste is a critical step in building a more nourishing, sustainable food system. Baltimore’s initiative demonstrates the important role cities have to play in overcoming this challenge, as well as the incredible momentum for food waste reduction efforts at the local level.”

Media Contact:

NAME: Ava Richardson

PHONE: (240) 997-5423



Related Stories

Clean Corp Kicks off

In February, Mayor Brandon Scott kicked off Clean Corps, a Mayoral Initiative that is being led by the Baltimore Department of Planning's Baltimore Green Network Initiative in partnership with DPW, MOED, and HCD.

Cab Calloway Legends Park

One of the Baltimore Green Network's pilot projects reached an important milestone in February.  All of the 14,000 square feet of alleys and street within the footprint of Cab Calloway Legends Park was removed to create a green space for the park. 

Fall 2022 Planning Academy Concludes

The fall 2022 Planning Academy Cohort concluded its 6-week training program. This program details the fundamentals of zoning, land use, development and community planning.