The New York City Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) Foundation for New York’s Strongest have announced the winners of their inaugural 2018 micro-grant program.
The program aims to incentivize small businesses, and inspire large businesses, to take action against food waste as part of the Foundation’s goal of sending “zero waste to New York City landfills by 2030.” An extension of the inaugural NYC Food Waste Fair, the micro-grant program showcases small businesses’ ability to prevent, reduce and “beneficially reuse” the 650,000 tons of food waste currently produced by New York City businesses annually.
“The NYC Food Waste Fair was proof of the significant interest small food-related businesses have in reducing food waste in their operations, and the Microgrant Program picks up where it left off,” says Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.
The winners of the three grant categories of food waste prevention, recovery, and recycling receive US$2,000 and technical assistance from leading experts in the field on further waste management solutions. Funding for these awards comes from proceeds from the Foundation’s Food Waste Fair last year.
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, the Foundation’s technical advisory partner for the micro-grant program, will provide technical assistance to the awardees, including food waste tracking mechanisms, advising waste sorting on site, and assessing the environmental impacts of their waste prevention.
The winners of the 2018 DSNY’s Foundation for New York’s Strongest First Micro-grant are:
- Ox Verte, offering seasonal and local office lunches and breakfasts, are using their grant to purchase a commercial freezer for raw food to reduce the amount of food discarded or diverted to compost. They will seek insights into more strategic procurement.
- RoHo Compost, a food waste diversion and education non-profit, hauls organic waste to compost facilities and transports surplus food to food pantries. RoHo will be using their grant to design and install zero waste stations with sorting capabilities to compost organic waste streams at market sites. They will additionally install education stations and coordinate volunteers to pioneer interactive educational programs at markets.
- Trans Am community vegan and vegetarian café will use their grant to install a three-bin compost system and storage on-site. The resulting compost will be sold on to gardeners in their community. As Bradford Still, owner of Trans Am Café says “by having a composting facility in our backyard we can turn what was once waste into high-value product for our gardens and our community.”
- White Moustache make handmade yogurt and probiotic tonics and ice pops with the whey by-product. White Moustache will be using their grant to purchase a portable, branded, customized freezer cart, acting additionally as a marketing and vending unit for their ice pops.