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EPA Honors University of Guam for Zero Waste Pledge

Release Date: 11/14/2012
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711

UOG, 18 other schools pledge multi-ton waste reduction

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today on America Recycles Day 2012 announced the participation of the University of Guam in taking on EPA’s national Food Recovery Challenge.

The Food Recovery Challenge is a voluntary program that aims to limit the 34 million tons of food wasted nationwide annually by reducing unnecessary consumption and increasing donations to charity and composting. By participating, these schools, with a combined 460,000 student enrollment, pledge to reduce food waste by five percent in one year.

“Pushing our agricultural lands to produce food that’s sent to landfills is a serious problem,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “EPA is proud to partner with these universities as they commit to support the environment and their community by reducing food waste.”

In addition to the University of Guam and its 3,500 students, 18 other schools in EPA’s Pacific Southwest region— University of California Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, San Francisco, Santa Barbara; and Santa Cruz; California State University Fullerton, Humboldt and Northridge; University of Southern California; City College San Francisco; Arizona State University; Northern Arizona University; University of Arizona; and University of Nevada Las Vegas and Reno—join 41 other colleges and universities nationwide in pledging to reduce wasted food. Aside from higher education, other participants include grocers and entertainment venues, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers stadium.

Nationally, food is the single largest material sent to landfills, accounting for 25 percent of all waste sent to landfills. When excess food, leftover food, and food scraps are disposed of in a landfill, they decompose and become a significant source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In turn, limiting wasted food will reduce methane emissions.
The Food Recovery Challenge is part of EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, which seeks to reduce the environmental impact of food and other widely-used everyday items through their entire life cycle, including how they are extracted, manufactured, distributed, used, reused, recycled, and disposed.

For more information on the Food Recovery Challenge, visit:

For additional information on EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program, visit: