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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA Honors the City of Cupertino for Leading Food Recovery Efforts

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the City of Cupertino was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its outstanding efforts in food recovery. The city received a regional Food Recovery Challenge award for reducing food waste and, in the process, conserving natural resources. 

“The City of Cupertino has successfully redirected residential food scraps into compost,” said John Busterud, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This effort helps reduce waste and costs while protecting the environment.”

“It is an honor to be recognized with this award by the EPA,” said Mayor Steven Scharf. “Creating a more sustainable future is important to Cupertino, which was proven by the community’s enthusiastic participation in this program. I’d like to thank our residents, staff, and Recology for making our food scraps program a success. It brings us one step closer to meeting the goals outlined in our Climate Action Plan.”

In 2018, Cupertino with Recology, an integrated resource recovery company, helped residents divert organics from their waste. Staff provided kitchen pails to customers who requested them and backyard compost bins to those who completed a composting workshop. The partnership helped businesses as well. City staff provided on-site training and bins to help with back-of-house sorting.

Also in 2018, city staff coordinated with Recology and community college students to perform lid-flips to see if residents were putting food scraps in their yard waste carts as desired. Feedback based on participation was provided via door hangers, and carts were checked again to increase food scrap composting.

Food is a valuable resource. Efforts to reduce food waste and ensure excess food doesn’t go to waste are needed now more than ever. The innovation organizations like the City of Cupertino are showcasing can serve as examples as the nation works together to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. Over 1,000 businesses, governments and organizations participated in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge in 2019. Participants prevented or diverted over 815,000 tons of food from entering landfills or incinerators, saving participants up to $42.3 million in avoided landfill tipping fees.

For more information on the Food Recovery Challenge, please visit:

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