American University
FF_e00008_Tlachac_v2.pdf (298.7 kB)

Most Public School Districts in Rochester, NY and Albany, NY Metro Regions Not Currently Composting to Manage Wasted Food

Download (298.7 kB)
Version 2 2024-05-22, 17:57
Version 1 2024-05-16, 13:34
journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-22, 17:57 authored by Maddie Tlachac, Rodhy Vixamar, Kaitlin Stack WhitneyKaitlin Stack Whitney

Students, whether getting cafeteria meals or bringing food from home, generate a lot of potential food waste while at school. Food waste represents a significant portion of solid waste and a major source of greenhouse emissions when it enters landfills. To understand if and how schools are taking steps to reduce and recover wasted food, we examined how Rochester and Albany area public school districts in upstate New York (NY) manage food waste with composting, using publicly available information online. We found evidence that most districts do not currently compost, revealing opportunities for districts to recover and manage food waste. Overall, we found that five districts are composting in all their school cafeterias, and nine districts are partially composting in cafeterias or places within the district, such as school gardens. Although our findings indicate there are few school districts composting in our study area, there are guidance documents and resources for schools and local governments to manage food waste. Understanding school district activities is a critical component of understanding how local governments and municipalities are using policy tools to reduce and recover wasted food.


SRS RN: Multiscale RECIPES (Resilient, Equitable, and Circular Innovations with Partnership and Education Synergies) for Sustainable Food Systems

Directorate for Engineering

Find out more...





Food-Fueled is an undergraduate research journal centered around food-related topics as an extension of American University’s RECIPES project. Funded by the National Science Foundation, RECIPES brings together over 40 researchers working at 15 institutions in order to advance the science needed to make our wasteful food system more sustainable, equitable, and resilient. Food-Fueled aims to publish works on food-related issues ranging from policy to food science, to personal narratives about the influence of food, nature, and agriculture. This work was supported by NSF Grant # 2115405 SRS RN: Multiscale RECIPES (Resilient, Equitable, and Circular Innovations with Partnership and Education Synergies) for Sustainable Food Systems. Findings and conclusions reported within Food-Fueled are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This article can also be found at the following website: All journal content can be found at the following website:





Usage metrics



    No categories selected



    Ref. manager