As part of the state of Tennessee’s efforts to address food waste, TDEC’s Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices provides free technical assistance to entities throughout Tennessee, to assist with reducing food waste and increasing food recovery and food waste diversion. Below you will find a list of technical assistance offerings, along with explanations of the different types of support involved. These offerings are made available to businesses, schools, government entities, and other organizations throughout Tennessee. To formally request assistance, fill out our Request Technical Assistance form. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Ashley Cabrera at 615-837-5063 or

Technical Assistance Offerings

Educational Workshop or Roundtable

We provide assistance in coordinating educational workshops or roundtable discussions. These opportunities can be open to the public to raise awareness around the issue of food waste or can be offered for businesses, schools or other organizations. Topics include, but are not limited to: food waste reduction at home or in the office, reducing food waste for restaurants, organics collection, and food waste audits. This offering can be customized for each request based on needs. Are you a city/town that is interested in planning events to deal with food waste throughout your city? Check out our “Road Show” page to see other cities have collaborated with us to combat food waste.

Local Planning Support and Stakeholder Meeting

We provide assistance in coordinating meetings amongst key stakeholders and other interested parties to engage discussion planning around strategies for addressing food waste. This is a great opportunity for organizations, businesses, or a city to access waste issues, identify contributors, share ideas to reduce waste, and increase recovery and diversion.

Seminars/Lunch and Learns

Bring us to your next staff meeting or lunch and learn to educate employees on food waste and tips on combatting it or we can provide you with the resources and background to present a lunch and learn of your own!

Food Waste Audit Planning

Food waste audits are the crucial first step to determining how much food your organization/business wastes and to set a target goal for reduction. We will provide you with the necessary resources and support to plan and execute your own food waste audit, and connect you with community partners to provide support.

Food Waste Reduction Strategy Assistance

We will provide guidance on the most effective strategies for your business/organization to reach your food waste reduction goals. This can include providing resources or on-site, hands-on training for employees and managers to implement changes through operations, or developing the necessary partnerships or agreements with local food donation organizations, composting companies, or other beneficial end uses for your food waste.

Developing a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Already have some food waste reduction or diversion strategies in place? Incorporating procedures into your organization/business to combat food waste is important to ensure all employees are on the same page. We will provide guidance as you create an SOP for your organization/business.

On-site Composting Training

We will provide hands-on training for you and your staff on starting and maintaining a small to medium scale composting operation.

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