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Sustainable Management of Food

Links and Resources About Food Recovery in Las Vegas

Food Recovery Hierarchy Triangle in Six Steps. Top (most preferred) to bottom (least preferred): Source Reduction, Feed Hungry People, Feed Animals, Industrial Uses, Composting, and Landfill/Incineration.

Learn about some food recovery alternatives in the Las Vegas area. EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes these food waste strategies from most to least preferable.

On this page:

Source Reduction

Source reduction is the strategy of preventing food from becoming waste in the first place. There are many resources available to tackle source reduction:

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Feed Hungry People (Donations)

The resources below include national, regional and local organizations which take food donations in the Las Vegas area. Most take non-perishables, and some accept surplus perishable foods. Be prepared to describe your donations in terms of packaging, preparation, frequency and type.

  • Food Pantries - Many have varying or limited capabilities for storing food donations and therefore limit the types or timing of donations. It’s often best to contact several to determine which can use your donations. Below are links to find local food pantries.
  • Rock and Wrap It Up!: Website Exit; Matches vetted charities with eligible donors of perishable food including entertainment venues, hotels, K-12 schools and colleges, sports teams, and hospitals. Offers the free “Whole Earth Calculator” to convert pounds of food to pounds of CO2 equivalent (CO2e).
  • ReFed Innovator Database: Website EXIT The Database is a living compilation of commercial and nonprofit entities turning the food waste problem into an opportunity for economic, social, and environmental impacts. This growing database is broken down by food waste solution type, organizational status, and geographic reach. Categories include secondary marketplaces that connect surplus food (food that would otherwise be wasted) to buyers. Food product creation organizations convert edible food that is currently considered waste (e.g., surplus/cosmetically challenged produce, brewery waste, vegetable trimmings) into value-added consumer food products (e.g., juices, fruit snacks, energy bars). The Database also list variety of food recovery organizations that capture edible food that would otherwise go to waste on farms, within the supply chain, or in consumer-facing businesses, and redistributes it to food insecure populations.

  • Food Banks: Regional food banks work with local food pantries, homeless shelters and other charities for food donation. While many food banks are unable to accept perishable and prepared food, they often work with donors to find perishable food options nearby. Listed below are the main food banks in the Las Vegas area.
Donation Center Location Contact Type of Food Accepted
Three Square Food Bank 4190 N. Pecos Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89115
(702) 644-3663 Perishable, Prepared and Non-perishable
New Legal Guide

New legal guide on Federal Enhanced Tax Deduction for Food Donation Exit

(1) LIABILITY OF PERSON OR GLEANER – A person or gleaner shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food or an apparently fit grocery product that the person or gleaner donates in good faith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to needy individuals.
- Courtesy of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act

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Feed Animals

Pig/Hog Farms: Large pig farms may accept food scraps. The Federal Swine Health Protection Act requires that food containing, or that comes in contact with meat or animal materials must be boiled before being fed to pigs. Consequently, many local pig farmers are primarily interested in single-stream fruits and vegetables or grain waste. Arrangements are often informal, and can be intermittent.

Pig Farm Location Information

Las Vegas Livestock

13550 US-93
Las Vegas, NV 89165

(702) 550-2395

Spent Brewery Grain: Spent brewery grain can be used as animal feed, primarily for cattle, but also for pigs, goats, fish and almost any livestock. Most breweries give the grain away to local farms. Manufacturers with single food waste streams can find local farms and ranches to donate their excess/by-product.

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Industrial Uses

Fats, oils and grease, also known as FOG, can be converted to fuels and has various industrial uses. FOG and food scraps can also be anaerobically digested to create energy and the digestate can be composted to create a soil amendment. Las Vegas area options and resources include:

Picture of waste cooking oil drum container

  • Waste to Biogas Resources:
  • Baker Commodities Inc.:
    • Website; (702) 651-0997
    • FOG collection, grease trap maintenance
  • Darling International: Grease collection 
    • Website; (702) 644-0067
    • 4730 Vandenberg, No. Las Vegas, NV, 89081
  • RenuOil:
    • (702) 263-0078
    • Collects and recycles FOG and food waste
    • Serve hotels, casinos, restaurants, bars, stores and non-profit organizations

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Food Scraps Composting

Composting turns food scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendments and can be done on site in smaller amounts or on a larger scale at a municipal or commercial level.

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Las Vegas Food Recovery Successes

Picture of food wastes.

MGM Grand used food waste tracking system at Las Vegas casinos to reduce pre-consumer food waste by 80% and saving between $5,000 and $9,000 a month in food costs. MGM employs a 24-hr recycling staff to further sort food scraps recovering 14,000 tons of food in 2011. MGM uses RC pig farms to collect food scraps to feed 3,000 pigs daily, and A1- Organics for local composting. Learn more.

Three Las Vegas breweries, Boulder Dam Brewing, Triple 7 Brewery, and Tenaya Creek Brewing donates spent grain to local customers for feed for horses, goats, and ostriches.

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