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Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) Cooperative Agreements

  • Published on March 5, 2023

The Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) cooperative agreements, which are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s broad support for urban agriculture through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP).

The purpose of CFWR is to provide assistance through a cooperative agreement to municipalities, counties, local governments, or city planners in the United States to carry out planning and implementation activities that will: generate compost; increase access to compost for agricultural producers; reduce reliance on, and limit the use of, fertilizer; improve soil quality; encourage waste management and permaculture business development; increase rainwater absorption; reduce municipal food waste; and divert food waste from landfills.

The Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) cooperative agreement pilot program is authorized by Section 222 of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, as added by Section 12302 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, 7 U.S.C. 6923. Funding was made available by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Public Law 117-2.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $9.4 million in 45 cooperative agreements that support innovative, scalable waste management plans to reduce and divert food waste from landfills. The projects will be implemented between 2023 and 2025. These Compost and Food Waste Reduction projects play important roles in building resilient, local food systems, including strong food recovery networks and food waste reduction solutions that benefit farmers and communities. With an estimated 4% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions attributable to uneaten food, local strategies and tools like these are important climate solutions. USDA prioritized projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts and collaborate with multiple partners. Recipients include projects in 27 states and one territory. This announcement supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader work to strengthen critical supply chains as directed by Executive Order 14017 America's Supply Chains. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.

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