The USDA recently announced $11.5 million in funds for cooperative programs that offer “innovative, scalable waste management plans.” These programs are part of efforts to keep food waste out of landfills. When composted, food waste produces fewer greenhouse gasses than in a landfill.

According to the USDA, factors like plans to give farmers easy access to compost were evaluated in the selection process. Urban farmers and community gardens were included in those plans. The agency also looked at whether submissions anticipated economic benefits from their programs and whether they incorporated strategies like food rescue.

This program is coordinated and administered by the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Projects will be fully implemented by 2026 at the latest.

Learn more about the food waste reduction efforts.