Joseph England

Joseph England

Joseph England

Speaker | City of Orlando

Orlando, FL |

Joe works for the City of Orlando as a Sustainability Project Manager, overseeing several initiatives related to solid waste and recycling.  Joe has worked to expand options for food waste diversion for both residents and businesses in Orlando. Joe is currently a Doctorial Candidate of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of South Florida focusing study on community food security and food policy.

Session Name: Municipal Composting 2: Addressing Wasted Food through Reduction and Composting

Session Time: Wednesday, January 29, 1:45 to 3:15 PM

Presentation Title: Making Public Food Waste Drop-off Work in Florida

Presentation Description: In a state with somewhat restrictive statutes regarding food waste, two local governments in Florida are setting the standard for how to make food waste diversion work for their businesses and residents.  The following proposal will detail two unique food waste diversion programs administered by the Cities of Orlando and Sarasota.  These two Florida Cities, at this time, are the only municipalities in the State running programs that directly address food waste diversion through collection and composting – demonstrating to others two distinctive models that truly work!

The City of Orlando began working on diverting food waste from the landfill in 2015 with the introduction of two programs, residential backyard composting and commercial food waste collection.  Orlando has distributed over 6500 backyard composting units as part of its residential program and has diverted nearly 2 million pounds of organic waste from 36 different locations with its commercial program.  With these two programs already established, the City began focusing on food waste diversion for residents living in multifamily properties and working at small businesses.  To address this population, Orlando has incorporated into their commercial program a public food waste drop off pilot at local farmers markets.  Since the drop-off pilot launch on January 26, 2019, the City has collected over 2,000 pounds of food waste.  Program specifics include: a dedicated food waste associate to educate on the benefits of food waste diversion; outreach and marketing materials; and community volunteer opportunities.

The City of Sarasota has also experienced success through a unique partnership with a community composting nonprofit by implementing food scrap collection and composting sites in neighborhood parks. The City provided public land in three pilot neighborhoods and partnered with a non-profit – Sunshine Community Compost – who provided training and buckets to participants.  The non profit also managed the drop off locations by turning the compost to ensure successful composting. In addition to waste diversion, the community park model has many co-benefits such as introducing neighbors who previously had not known each other and providing a monitored site for residents to try composting before transitioning into their own backyard system. To-date there are 112 households participating with over 28,000 pounds of food waste diverted from the landfill for compost.