Racing to End Food Waste

Food System
Jun 15th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Whether we’re eating peanuts in the cheap seats or grazing from buffets in a luxury box, eating is an integral part of cheering on our favorite teams. But with game-day snacking also comes food waste, and many sports leagues and events are taking notice. Sustainable America recently conducted a pilot program with NASCAR to speed up the food waste reduction movement.

Sustainable America chased down food waste at a group of food service areas at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia in late April. Together with NASCAR Green and Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE), and with added assistance from Henrico County, we worked to reduce waste in two ways: by donating prepared food that didn’t get eaten to Good Samaritan Ministries, and by sending food scraps and plate waste to be composted rather than to a landfill. Here’s a snapshot of the results:


In order to close the loop, we are also working on coordinating efforts to install a community garden at the Raceway nourished with the compost created as a result of these food waste efforts.

This weekend of food waste reduction was only the beginning. Beyond rescuing and composting food, information was gathered that will help expand the Raceway’s food waste reduction efforts and engage with fans at future events. We are also exploring the possibility of bringing this work to more raceways.

As these efforts grow, the benefits start to multiply. More hungry people will be fed, less methane will be emitted from food rotting in landfills, more compost will be made, and more fans will learn about the food waste issue.

If you’re interested in supporting our food waste reduction efforts, please donate to Sustainable America. And if you would like help reducing food waste at an event you manage, Sustainable America can help. Contact Heide Hart, director of events, at or 203-803-1250.

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Peanuts and Cracker Jacks and…Compost?
NFL Food Waste Fuels the Future

Tagged: food waste, composting, food, NASCAR Green, zero-waste events, green sports, #IValueFood, food rescue

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