With each tier of the Food Recovery Hierarchy focusing on a different strategy for managing food waste, this top-down approach shows that the highest tier in the food recovery pyramid is source reduction – the act of reducing the volume of surplus food being generated in the first place.

Of course, organics recycling doesn’t only refer to food waste.

While discarded food takes up a large proportion of the organics recycling category – with this including everything from fruits and vegetables, to meats, poultry, and seafood, to coffee grounds, egg shells and bakery ingredients – organics includes other organic materials, food-soiled paper, coffee filters and plant material such as leaves and stems.

While organics recycling includes much more than food waste, these programs typically have the same contamination challenges as mixed recycling.

Businesses can educate their employees, and themselves, on how to best deal with their wasted food and other organics to ensure they’re being separated correctly.

For businesses looking to implement organics recycling programs either on a small scale, or across an international footprint, food waste reduction programs can first help you to uncover what you are discarding.

Stop Food Waste Day is a reminder to all of us that the biggest opportunity in organics recycling, as in all other forms of recycling, is source reduction.