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Most people would not turn on all the lights, then go out to dinner. Or turn on the kitchen faucet, and then go for a run.  Yet many people waste something valuable each week that impacts (PDF, 100 K) our budgets and the environment: food. Wasted food is a much larger problem than most people are aware of. Every year wasted food costs billions of dollars, wastes hug amounts of natural resources, and contributes to climate change. Get the facts and see what you can do to stop wasting food and money. 

Did you know...

  • The average family of four spends $1,600 per year on food that goes uneaten,
  • 25% of all the freshwater supplies in America are used to produce food that is wasted,
  • Wasted food produces 25% of America's methane emissions, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Wasted Food vs. Food Waste

Wasted food is avoidable. It is food that was once edible but not eaten. Think: leftovers, moldy and expired food. Wasted food is the focus of the Food Too Good To Waste Challenge described below.

Food waste is unavoidable. It is the part of food that was never edible. Think: egg shells, grape stems, bones, coffee grounds and peelings.

Take the Food Too Good To Waste Challenge

The Food Too Good To Waste Challenge will show you how much edible food goes to waste in your own home. With some easy planning and light changes to your shopping, food prep, and storage habits, this challenge will help you save time and money by keeping your food out of the trash (or compost pile).

Participants who enter the four-week challenge will receive a toolkit that includes a kitchen scale and collection container. For four weeks food that could have been eaten but went to waste will be weighed and recorded. After recording the amount, we suggest composting the food waste. Even one week of tracking wasted food can be eye-opening and inspire you to take steps to prevent waste. Small shifts in how you shop, prepare, store and save food can make a big difference. 

To get started, contact the Mansfield Recycling Coordinator at or 860-429-3333.


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