News & Events

Sucess Spotlight: OneSTL Food Waste Subcommittee

Author: Anna Chott, Sustainability Planner at East-West Gateway Council of Governments


Food Waste Prevention Week, April 10-16, is a great time to highlight food waste reduction efforts in the St. Louis region. The startling billboard below, currently located near the St. Louis airport, is the latest message from the Too Good to Waste food waste reduction campaign coordinated by earthday365 and funded by a grant from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District. In the past two years, the campaign’s food waste messaging has been viewed more than 11 million times in the St. Louis region. (Photo credit: earthday365)


The United Nations estimates that approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted - resulting in the waste of an astounding amount of resources. In fact, the average consumer in the U.S. throws away $1,300 worth of wasted food each year. This simply does not make sense when many individuals in the region go hungry.


Staff from Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center contribute to regional food waste reduction efforts by organizing programs at library branches in St. Charles County, in schools, and at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Their “Stick a Fork in Food Waste” class at the garden is scheduled for Saturday, May 13. 


What actions can you take to help solve this problem? You can volunteer, donate to, or visit organizations that rescue excess food, such as Operation Food Search, the St. Louis Area Foodbank, Feeding Illinois, or the St. Louis Food Share Network, a grassroots effort that redirects unsellable food to people in need, with no qualifying factors necessary. You can also visit for more ideas, including learning what “best by/sell by/use by” dates actually mean, planning meals around food that will spoil first, and composting inedible parts of food. 

Representatives from earthday365 and the Earthways Center lead the OneSTL Food Waste Subcommittee, which is part of the OneSTL Materials & Recycling Working Group. The committee collaborates on initiatives to reduce food waste in the bi-state St. Louis region, such as the activities mentioned above. To get involved in a OneSTL regional working group or learn more, visit or reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..