Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Every year in New York’s Capital Region a large amount of food goes to waste, and about one-half of produce (fruits and vegetable) that is produced is wasted. However, many organizations in the Capital Region have put in efforts to redistribute this surplus produce to the food insecure to help improve their diets. This project looked at how that surplus produce is redistributed to the food insecure in the Capital Region, the life cycle energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions of that redistribution, and how that redistribution could be improved. Working with local partners through survey data collection, interviews, and energy and emission modeling, we quantified the amount of surplus produce being redirected from the waste stream to consumers and determined the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of transporting the surplus produce in the Capital Region. We used Argonne National Laboratory's The Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) Model to calculate greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation of the surplus produce from food banks and grocery stores to food pantries and soup kitchens, and we used the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Waste Reduction Model (WARM) to calculate the environmental impact of alternatives of redistributing the surplus produce, such as landfilling or composting the excess produce.
Fleming, Molly, "Estimating Environmental Emissions from Produce Waste Redistribution in the Capital Region" (2017). Public Health Undergraduate Program. 5.