Links and Resources About Food Recovery in Las Vegas
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 is the strategy of preventing food from becoming waste in the first place. There are many resources available to tackle source reduction:
- U.S. EPA Food Recovery Website:
- Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tool (spreadsheet): Tracks the amount and reasons specific foods are wasted.
- Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants: Provides guidance on using the prevention tool tracking results to save money and reduce waste.
- Food Waste Assessment Guidebook: Shows how to do a one-time snapshot wasted food assessment.
- National Restaurant Association ConServe Program: Provides resources and tools Exit to help restaurants through each step of a food waste reduction program; provides videos to accompany many of the EPA resources listed above.
- Leanpath: Company assists foodservice operations in reducing food waste, website provides many free tools, videos and case studies. Exit
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.
- Ample Harvest: Find a pantry near you on this non-profit's website. Exit
- Food Pantries.org: See a list of Nevada food pantries on this non-profit's website. Exit
- 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|
(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.
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.
Las Vegas Livestock
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.
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:
- Waste to Biogas Resources:
- Searchable database of local biogas facilities that may accept FOG or food waste.
- 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
- (702) 263-0078
- Collects and recycles FOG and food waste
- Serve hotels, casinos, restaurants, bars, stores and non-profit organizations
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.
- Find a Composter: Searchable database of local composting facilities that may accept food waste; results from January 2015 search are included in the table below.
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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