Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar Series: A Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Wasted Food Assessment with the Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit

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EPA invites commercial and institutional kitchens to join us for a free three-part webinar series on using EPA's Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit.

Comprehensive Guidance: This webinar series will provide comprehensive guidance on conducting a tracking assessment using EPA’s Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit. The toolkit includes a guide and a tracking spreadsheet to assist commercial and institutional food services in tracking and reducing their food and packaging waste by implementing reduction strategies. Reducing food and packaging waste saves money, reduces the environmental impacts of waste, and improves organizational image.

Three Webinars: Participants are given time between webinars to allow for completion of each step. Each webinar requires separate registration.

Pilot toolkit and get additional support: You are invited to sign up for the toolkit pilot, where you will be offered the additional opportunity to participate in peer group trouble-shooting calls and receive one-on-one technical assistance from EPA in using the toolkit. Space is limited. Contact Amanda Hong at or 415-947-4103 for more information.

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Webinars in this Series:

Milestone 1: Preparing for a Wasted Food Assessment and Establishing a Baseline

January 29, 2015, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EST)


The first step to reducing your food and packaging waste is to measure it. This webinar will walk participants through the steps to prepare for a tracking assessment, and guide users in completing the first step – establishing a baseline using EPA's Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tracking Tool (.xls). Note that a strong baseline assessment requires a minimum of two weeks to complete. Facilities are strongly encouraged to collect at least two weeks’ worth of data before moving onto Step 2.

You Tube logo imageVideo: View a Recording of Part 1 of this Webinar Exit 

You Tube logo imageVideo: View a Recording of Part 2 of this Webinar Exit 


Amanda Hong, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Amanda Hong joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Pacific Southwest) in June of 2013 as a graduate fellow and is now fulltime with the Sustainable Materials Management team. As the regional Organics Recycling Specialist, Amanda serves as EPA’s point of contact for the Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit. Amanda earned a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy in May 2014 and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, Africa from 2009-2011.

Andrew Shakman, LeanPath

Andrew Shakman is a wasted food prevention advocate and the CEO of LeanPath, a foodservice technology company based in Portland, Oregon. Since co-founding LeanPath in 2004 to address the food waste crisis, Andrew has been working at the front lines of behavior change, helping foodservice operators prevent and minimize wasted food through the use of food waste tracking systems and software. Under Andrew’s leadership, LeanPath created the industry's first automated food waste monitoring system. In 2012, Andrew was named one of FoodService Director Magazine's "20 Most Influential" people in the foodservice industry. He and LeanPath have been featured in Business Week, NPR, Forbes and many food industry publications. You can read more about Andrew here Exit.

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Milestone 2: Data Analysis, and Creating and Implementing Waste Reduction Strategies; & Milestone 3: Tracking Progress

March 26, 2015, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EST)


This webinar will guide viewers through both Milestones 2 and 3 of EPA’s Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit.

Milestone 2: After entering your baseline data into the spreadsheet tool, the next step is to analyze your resources going to waste, and to create and implement waste reduction strategies based on your results. This webinar will guide you in using the spreadsheet tool for data analysis and feature guest speakers from food service facilities, who will present case studies of strategies they have implemented to reduce wasting food and packaging. More case studies and information can be found in EPA's Reducing Wasted Food and Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants.

Milestone 3: Once reduction strategies have been implemented, a follow-up tracking assessment is suggested to assess strategy effectiveness. This webinar will return to  EPA's Food and Packaging Waste Prevention Tracking Tool(4 pp, 905 K) to guide users in tracking their progress.

YouTube logo imageVideo: View a Recording of Part 1 of this Webinar Exit

YouTube logo imageVideo: View a Recording of Part 2 of this Webinar Exit

YouTube logo imageVideo: View a Recording of Part 3 of this Webinar Exit

YouTube logo imageVideo: View a Recording of Part 4 of this Webinar Exit


Amanda Hong, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

See biography listed above and related slide presentation for EPA Milestone 2 & 3 below

Cat Sullivan – Northern Arizona University (NAU)

Cat Sullivan began her role as the Sustainability Specialist for Northern Arizona University Campus Dining – Sodexo in 2010. With a background in environmental planning and experience with the development of a large scale composting system at Binghamton University in NY, Ms. Sullivan facilitates the implementation of NAU Campus Dining’s waste reduction strategies. She strives to ensure dining services, as a leader on the NAU campus, continually improves waste reduction through both operational efficiencies and employee engagement. Her efforts align NAU Campus Dining with not only the EPA Food Recovery Challenge, but also with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow sustainability initiatives and NAU’s carbon neutrality goals.

Ray Dennis and Chef Dana Massimiani – Loyola Marymount University (LMU)

Ray Dennis currently serves as Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Management and Business Services for Loyola Marymount University, has an MBA from Pepperdine University, Master of Arts in Theology from Loyola Marymount University, and is a Certified Auxiliary Service Professional by the National Association of College Auxiliary Services. He now oversees Dining, Textbooks, Printing, Mail Services, and Campus Card Office. These Business Services must demonstrate leadership in Sustainable practices and Environmental Stewardship to reflect the University’s mission and demonstrate Social Responsibility to its Faculty, Staff, and Students.

Chef Dana Massimiani has been in the culinary industry for the past 15 years. In 2011, he began his position at LMU as Chef de Cuisine for the Lair Marketplace and upper campus. Chef Dana and his team have increased dining satisfaction by almost 90% and shaped the program at LMU into a perennial contender for best in class. Chef Dana is responsible for overseeing the entire dining process from scheduling, menu planning and ordering to handling pre and post-consumer waste. Thanks to the sustainability practices of Chef Dana and his team, they have been influential in obtaining 4-Star Green Restaurant Certification at the Lair Marketplace.

Ismail Samad, Executive Chef of Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery store, and the Gleanery restaurant

Ismail Samad is the Executive Chef of Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery store in Boston, Massachusetts designed to simultaneously address the issues of food insecurity, nutritional health, and wasted food. He is also Chef/Partner of The Gleanery, a restaurant in Putney, Vermont that not only specializes in the use of “whole” fruits, vegetables and proteins, but also includes in its menus the unwanted seconds and/or “ugly” foods that are habitually discarded within the many levels of the food chain. Ismail is a founding member of Windham Farm and Food, a nonprofit aggregation and delivery service providing easy access to healthy food produced in Windham County and is featured in The Vermont Table Cookbook (countryman Press).

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Milestone 4: Measuring Impact

April 23, 2015, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EST)


The last step is to measure the impact of your reduction efforts and get recognition for them. The final webinar of the series will begin with a look at how a Costco warehouse in Columbus, OH has incorporated tracking aspects of EPA’s Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit into their operations to better understand and reduce the wasted food and packaging currently sent to the landfill. Participants will then learn how to use the data they collect with the toolkit for participation in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. Finally, the audience will learn how to use EPA’s Waste Reduction Model to determine the greenhouse gas savings associated with preventing, composting, or recycling their wasted food and packaging.

YouTube logo imageVideo: View a Recording of this Webinar Exit


David Klein and Chris Henson – Costco Wholesale, Columbus OH

David Klein has been with Costco for about 30 years. He currently is the AGM at the Polaris location. He has been in three different regions for the company and has seen and experienced a big part of Costco growth. He was around when the company began recycling cardboard in the early 1980s and was in the Avon location when it became one of the first to bale and recycle shrink wrap. He currently overseas a large hazmat program for the store and is helping to spearhead the new recycling and composting program at Warehouse 632.

Chris Henson began at Costco Wholesale in August of 2013. Since then, he has started the multi department recycling program, in which he personally takes the diverted waste to a public drop off as he works to scale the project to a commercial level. Due in part to his passion for the environment and waste reduction, Chris took on the role of waste reduction specialist using his new position as a springboard to inform and reform the warehouse in several directions. Chris is currently a fourth year student at Ohio State University, where he is pursuing a BS in economics and a BA in political science with a minor in mathematics.

Amanda Hong, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

See biography listed above and related slide presentation for EPA Milestone 4 below.

Andre Villasenor – EPA

Andre Villasenor coordinates Sustainable Materials Management in EPA’s Southern CA Field Office. He has served in EPA since 2005. Prior to EPA, Andre was a habitat conservation specialist in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ecuador. He holds an M.S. in Environmental Science and an M.A. in International Relations.

Bobby Renz – ICF International

Bobby Renz is a manager within ICF’s Climate Change & Sustainability line of business with over 6 years of experience in the areas of life-cycle assessment, materials management, and sustainability. Bobby currently leads the development and maintenance of the U.S. EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), a freely-available tool that uses a life-cycle approach to help users estimate the greenhouse gas emissions impacts of different materials management options.

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