Food Waste Solutions


Food waste is recognized as a problem of global importance and one that will require addressing over the next half century if we are to meet the growing demand for food and agricultural products. Solution spaces span from our own homes to national and international policy changes, and student action at the University level can initiate positive changes that cascade throughout society.

This page provides resources for teaching and learning about food waste.  The curriculum (to be posted online and downloadable soon!) has been developed to fit as either a 3-week module to be incorporated into other interdisciplinary classes on food, agriculture, or the environment, or can be expanded into a full-semester undergraduate course where students collaboratively learn about and undertake extended projects surrounding food waste solutions.  In the meantime, check out the fantastic final projects created by students in the 2016 Solutions to Reduce Food Waste capstone class at UW-Madison

Whether you are looking to find fun, informative examples to help communicate the issue, develop your own teaching lesson or course about food waste, or just learn something new, we hope this webpage will be able to help you in your process.

Have resources you’d like to share or projects you’d like to collaborate on?  We’d love to hear from you!  Email Tyler Lark at [email protected].



Local to Global Solutions to Reduce Food Waste

Environmental Studies 600, section 4, Spring 2016

Tyler Lark (primary instructor) and Professor Holly Gibbs (instructor / course adviser)

Wednesdays, 2:25-5:25 p.m.

In this semester-long course, we explored the causes and consequences of food waste across the supply chain at local to global scales, and evaluated the leading solutions proposed to reduce waste and improve the sustainability of our food systems. Students then put their knowledge into action via semester-long research and outreach projects, culminating with implementation of a proposed food waste solution.

2016 Capstone Projects

Click the links below to download a free .pdf of each final product

The Amazing Waste Cookbook:  50 recipes to use food scraps, repurpose leftovers, and reduce food waste


Spent Grains:  A guide for brewers and bakers on the creative reuse of spent brewing grains


Wisconsin Union Waste Reduction Guide: Summary and recommendations of dining waste reduction initiatives


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Resources / multimedia:

(coming soon!)

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Class Tours  (Spring 2016)

Dane County Landfill




Landfill Gas Energy Recovery Station



Recent delivery of wasted produce at the anaerobic digester




Extracted solids and nutrients from the processed digestate, ready to be compostedprocessed_digestate1processed_digestate2


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