USDA Recognizes Groundz Work with Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts customer believes it’s time we talk about our coffee addiction

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This week Groundz will clear 20,000 pounds of coffee grounds for Dunkin Donuts in Parma Heights, Ohio. All these pounds are locally hauled and delivered to urban farm partners, schools, and sustainable sites.

The USDA’s Food Waste Challenge was launched in June 2013 to invite participants who are up to the challenge. “The goal of the U.S. Food Waste Challenge is to lead a fundamental shift in how food and food waste is managed in the United States,” writes Elise Golan, Director for Sustainable Development Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

When Groundz learned about the Challenge, we decided to showcase the hard work and dedication of Dunkin Donuts’ leadership and barista for zero waste initiatives. As Dunkin Donuts management for Northeast Ohio has said, “It’s just the right thing to do.”

“Are those buckets for coffee?” Dunkin customer asked us. We collect coffee grounds in 5-gallon buckets. “Because it’s time we start to talk about your coffee addiction.”

Dunkin Donuts commitment to waste recycling and humor of customers encourage Groundz to successfully recycle 2,000 pounds of coffee grounds a month, even during the slow season. As we enter February, Dunkin season picks up and resumes normal levels of operation between 2,500-3,000 pounds of coffee grounds/month.

“…USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in June 2013, calls on entities across the food chain to reduce food loss and waste in the United States; recover wholesome food for human consumption; and recycle discards to other uses including animal feed, composting, and energy use,” writes Golan.

Groundz is recycling organic waste for composting and soon bio-energy with our partnership with Ohio State University Extension and exciting work with anaerobic digesters. Groundz is aware of the challenges facing food expiration labeling and is keeping options open for diverting edible foods for Church pantries, Cleveland Food Bank, and hunger organizations. Further, Groundz is honored to work with all our urban farmers, schools, universities, wellness institutes, businesses and organizations to further the Challenge.

USDA Food Waste Challenge goal is 400 participants by 2015 and 1,000 participants by 2020 to improve sustainable food. Let us know if you are interested in having Groundz serve your location’s organic waste recycling needs and join the USDA Challenge with us.


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