Since 2008, Clean Memphis has been working for a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable Memphis. The non-profit engages with Memphis and Shelby County community through clean ups, environmental education programs, the Project Green Fork program for restaurants, and more recently, through their 901 Save the Food campaign.

In January, the Memphis Food Waste Project was launched by Clean Memphis and joined by a coalition of partners, including the City of Memphis, the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability and Resilience, Memphis Transformed, Project Green Fork, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Compost Fairy, Epicenter, Kroger, the Mid-South Food Bank, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. All these groups will work together with the goal to reduce food waste to landfill by 50% by 2030.

In Memphis and Shelby County, 30% of the 1.7 million tons of waste to landfills is food and 40% of the food waste in Memphis comes from households. This is a problem, but also is an opportunity to make a difference and educate the community in a way that will spur change. The project’s awareness campaign, #901SaveTheFood will put the problem out in the open on billboards, buses, social media, restaurants, etc., and ask Memphians to take a pledge to reduce their food waste.

Through the project, partners hope to work with the City of Memphis to encourage employees to waste less food at home and to expand the existing network of organizations in the community who are already working to fight food waste.

Other components to the Memphis Food Waste Project include a task force that will meet monthly and an advisory committee that will meet quarterly, both led by Clean Memphis. The task force has already had its first meeting and is working out logistics for on-site compost at the University of Memphis. Heidi Rupke, who is leading the Memphis Food Waste Project task force is excited to see what they can accomplish. “This has been a great opportunity to see how many allies we have working for the same cause of reducing food waste,” says Rupke. “There is no downside to what we are doing. We are learning how to better manage our resources, we’re sharing food with those who need it, developing skills, and reducing the impact waste has on our community. It has been really exciting to see everyone in our community come together to build a stronger and more resilient Memphis.”

To learn more about how you can get engaged, visit the Clean Memphis website.

**Photo taken pre-COVID

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2021 - 1:26:29