A bite of information | Blog
How We Work To Reduce Waste
It’s Waste Reduction Week and as we reflect on the importance of zero waste in our households, it makes us wonder how the Calgary Food Bank minimizes its own footprint. How do we manage waste when 11 million pounds of perishables and non-perishables are moving through the warehouse?
Every step in the receiving process has important checks and balances. When sorting food donations as they come, we evaluate their viability. It is critical to ensure from a food safety and dignity perspective, that clients are receiving quality food in their hampers. We look at the three Ds: Date + Dent + Damaged and sort accordingly.
We sort donations big and small, and separate them into different recycling and reclamation areas, with a goal of less than 10% going to the landfill. All the cardboard packaging and boxes are crushed, plastics are bundled and then everything is sent off for recycling. Spoiled, leaking, bulging and old cans are separated, and the contents extracted to go to compost and the cans are recycled. Bottles and cartons are sent to the depot for a return on the deposit. Compost and expired perishables such as bread and produce are welcomed by our partner farmers.
The bags in our hampers are made from recycled plastics and are so durable that they are not classified as single use. Food drive donation bags, like you may have seen at the City-Wide Food Drive, are 100% compositable.
Can we do any more to minimize our impact on the environment? Michael Pasma, Director, Logistics and Inventory concurs,
“We are always looking for ways to manage not only our waste, but our footprint. With 14 trucks in our fleet, we monitor and encourage no idling. The lighting in the offices and warehouse are energy efficient LED bulbs. The condensers for the fridges and freezers are state of the art.”
The Calgary Food Bank is proud to implement ways in reducing waste. From receiving quality viable food from the food industry, to how we treat our donations and operations. Every action matters.