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USDA announces $9.4 million for plans to limit waste in landfills

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an investment into the Compost and Food Waste Reduction program that furthers the American Rescue Plan’s climate change directive. File Photo by Stokpic/Pixabay
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an investment into the Compost and Food Waste Reduction program that furthers the American Rescue Plan’s climate change directive. File Photo by Stokpic/Pixabay

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an investment into the Compost and Food Waste Reduction program that furthers the American Rescue Plan's climate change directive.

The USDA is investing $9.4 million into CFRW agreements, which are granted to local and municipal governments that exercise efforts to limit waste in landfills and promote sustainable practices. The agreements are funded with American Rescue Plan dollars.

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"These Compost and Food Waste Reduction projects play important roles in building resilient, local food systems, including strong food recovery networks and food waste reduction solutions that benefit farmers and communities," said Terry Cosby, chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

"With an estimated 4% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions attributable to uneaten food, local strategies and tools like these are important climate solutions."

The USDA has been supporting composting and food waste reduction activities in this way since 2020, contributing to projects across the United States. Farmers, community gardeners and communities at large have benefitted from the projects through CFRW cooperative agreements.

Among the recipients of funding is the Miami-Dade County 2022 pilot project that will scale up three local composting companies. The aim of the project is to increase the capacity of the companies by 50% in one year, according to the USDA.

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A Tuscon, Ariz., pilot project will build composting infrastructure for the Tucson Unified School District in 2022 and provide education to students about food reclamation and the economic benefits of composting. The USDA said the infrastructure will soil health and support the school district's community garden which provides nutritious food for members of the larger community.

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