STAMFORD, Conn. (Sept. 12, 2017) – Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, and the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance scientific research and education for sustainable solid waste management practices, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines an agreement to join efforts on quantifying food waste in K-12 schools. In addition, the MOU outlines the organizations’ aim to provide tools and resources that help reduce school-based food waste.
Keep America Beautiful and EREF will work together on areas of mutual interest to a) collect and analyze information about the amount of food waste generated at these institutions; b) foster education and awareness about how food waste is generated and can be minimized by K-12 schools nationally; and c) develop and share best practices and other resources to reduce food waste generation and to divert such materials from landfills. This partnership supports EREF’s School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project (SCrAP), a program that quantifies food waste and other related waste generated in K-12 school cafeterias nationally.
“At Keep America Beautiful, we strive to educate and empower future generations of community and environmental stewards,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Working together with EREF, we will gain a better understanding of the quantity and quality of food waste streams at schools, and how to tackle reducing food waste.”
“Education is a core component of EREF’s mission, and an understanding of waste generation in schools can provide valuable insight into how waste practices and education can be improved,” said Bryan Staley, CEO & President of EREF. “We hope the program will enlighten schools regarding not only food waste, but all discarded materials, including recycling. Partnering with Keep America Beautiful will allow EREF to engage schools with a strong interest in more efficiently managing their waste.”
As part of this collaboration, EREF will help raise awareness of Keep America Beautiful’s Recycle-Bowl program – the national in-school recycling competition for K-12 schools – with specific focus on the food waste category of the competition. Schools can register now for the fall Recycle-Bowl competition, which begins on Oct. 16. In turn, Keep America Beautiful will support EREF’s recruitment of eligible K-12 schools for its SCrAP program as well as provide other available waste data for inclusion in appropriate reports.
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, we strive to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.
Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, curricula, practical advice and other resources to deliver measurable environmental, economic and social benefits. The organization is driven by more than 600 state and local affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities and government officials.
EREF is a 501(c) class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. For more complete information on EREF funded research, scholarships, its education program and how to donate to this great cause, visit www.erefdn.org.