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EPA Recognizes The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University City District for Helping to Reduce Methane-producing Food Waste in Landfills

Release Date: 11/20/2014
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 or heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (November 20, 2014) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and University City District (UCD) for significant contributions to food recovery which helps mitigate climate change.

CHOP and the University City District are both members of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge which encourages participants to compost or donate their excess food which saves money, helps feed the needy, and protects the environment.

Food is one of the largest waste categories in the U.S. going into landfills. When excess food, leftover food, and food scraps are disposed of in a landfill, they decompose rapidly and become a significant source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which contributes to climate change.

“We commend both The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University City District for reducing the amount of food waste that goes into landfills,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “EPA is working with individuals, businesses and hunger-relief organizations to increase food donations and composting and we salute these two organizations that are leading the way here in the Philadelphia area.”

CHOP began composting food waste in February 2011 in their Colket Translational Research Building. That first year they composted 22.36 Tons. CHOP joined EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge program in 2013 and to date they have composted a total of 303 Tons of food waste.

Composting is part of CHOP’s larger sustainability program which reuses or recycles approximately 50 percent of its total waste.

“We are honored to be recognized for our recycling and composting efforts,” said Chad Hough, Senior Vice President of Support Services at CHOP. “CHOP strives to find innovative ways to maintain our role as a leader, and we are looking forward to sustaining this program and increasing our contributions as CHOP continues to grow.”

The University City District, a partnership of institutions, small businesses and residents, located in the University City section of Philadelphia, joined EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge in 2012. The district participates by promoting food recovery to various institutions and businesses in the community, while connecting them with the resources to make food recovery possible and profitable. In addition to CHOP, UCD has worked with Amtrak, Drexel University’s Culinary Arts & Food Science Program, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Dunkin' Donuts, Metropolitan Bakery, Au Bon Pain, Green Line Café, Four Worlds Bakery and many other area businesses.

Additionally, more than 200 University City residents are now sustainably disposing of food scraps and other organic waste by bringing it to a local composting center which turns the waste materials into high quality organic compost to be used in University City gardens.

For more information on the Food Recovery Challenge go to: www.epa.gov/foodrecovery.

For more information on the UCD go to: www.universitycity.org.