Reallocating Food Waste: Evaluating Food Waste Management Options for Atlanta

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McCoy, Trevor
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This paper recommends efficient ways for city officials to mitigate Atlanta’s food waste. Redirecting food waste will provide the city with three significant benefits: (1) Equity – The reallocation of excess, edible food will improve food security amongst thousands of Atlanta residents now classified as food insecure, (2) Environment – Redirecting food waste away from disposal reduces the need for landfills and mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, and (3) Economy – The reuse of food waste provides a valuable resource for the provision of food, the production of biofuels, and the generation of electricity, amongst other uses. Therefore, an evaluation of Atlanta’s food waste management options is necessary for city officials to fully define and explore the problem, set priorities, leverage strengths, build coalition groups, attract private investment, and begin to implement a plan, which will reduce the amount of food going to land fills and redirect food towards its best uses. This paper will present the case for an improved food waste management plan in eight sections. In sections 1 through 5, the paper explores why food waste diversion is important, examines food reallocation currently in Atlanta, sets up a process for evaluating Atlanta’s need for reducing food waste and presents data to that effect, and presents a series of recommendations for improving Atlanta’s food reallocation. Section 6 provides a deeper analysis of Anaerobic Digestion, a particularly promising option. Finally, in Sections 7 and 8, the report presents concluding remarks and References.
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