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Food waste prevention, recovery, and donation

We have resources to help you prevent food waste, which is the largest component of our municipal solid waste stream.

Food waste is the largest component of our state and country's municipal solid waste. State data from 2015-16 shows that:

  • Overall, food makes up 17 percent of garbage, 24 percent of residential garbage, and 19 percent of commercial garbage.
  • Good food is being thrown away. Edible food makes up 8 percent of overall garbage and 10 percent for both residential and commercial garbage.
A large pile of discarded produce, boxes, and packaging

Food recovery

The Environmental Protection Agency developed a Food Waste Recovery Hierarchy recommending ways to prevent and reduce wasted food.

Food donation

We have state and federal laws that protect food donors from liability when donating wholesome food in good faith to a nonprofit organization. There are a number of different organizations that donate food. Sea-Tac Airport provides enough food for over 385 meals per week to the local food bank.

Food rescue groups that help connect food donors with food distributors include:

Other resources