Food recovery looks at all the steps that can be taken to prevent and reduce food waste. Vermont has officially recognized this in law by including a Food Recovery Hierarchy in the new Universal Recycling law. The Food Recovery Hierarchy is a tool to bring awareness to the preferred strategies to prevent and reduce food waste.
Vermont's Food Recovery Hierarchy includes the following prioritized strategies:
Reduce the amount of food residuals being generated at at the source (in your kitchen), by strategically planning meals, shopping with a list, storing food properly, preparing and serving only what will be consumed, preserving leftovers appropriately, and other strategies.
Food for People
Direct extra food of high quality to feed people by donating to food shelves and food banks.
Food for Animals
Use lower quality food residuals for agricultural purposes, such as food for animals. See the Agency of Agriculture's Swine Feeding Policy before feeding scraps to pigs.
Composting & Anaerobic Digestion
Direct food residuals and organics to home compost piles, commercial compost facilities, or for land application (farmers must adhere to their farm's AAFM's nutrient management plan). Find out more about home composting or find a Compost Company in Vermont. No anaerobic digesters in Vermont accept food scraps at this time.
Processing food residuals and organics for energy recovery. This is the least preferred use of food residuals and may include collection of landfill gas for energy.