Westchester County's Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) invited representatives from all food-related industries to attend its Food Rescue Forum, a cooperative effort with the Feeding Westchester and Rock and Wrap It Up! Inc. The forum was hosted at the county's Household Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF), located on the Grasslands Campus, 15 Woods Road, Valhalla.

Attendees learned about ways businesses can reduce waste, conserve resources and alleviate hunger simply by reducing the amount of food thrown in the garbage. The program focused primarily on food rescue; supporting the distribution of untouched, fresh or packaged food to local houses of worship, food pantries and soup kitchens to feed the hungry.

Discussions also touched upon systems and technologies available for dealing with spoiled or leftover food scraps, such as the Ecovim™ technology, which has been a part of DEF's summer 2013 food waste pilot program at the H-MRF. The Ecovim™ unit was on loan to the county from OWARECO, LLC, and was being used to demonstrate alternative methods of waste management to Westchester's local businesses, schools, and other institutions. The Ecovim™ dehydrates up to 250 pounds of food scraps in under 24 hours, producing a product that is reduced by 80 to 90 percent of its original volume.

This event built upon the Food Rescue Forum hosted by the county in April, which targeted schools and colleges. Our latest Forum included all food and hospitality-related industries. Representatives from hotels, conference centers, schools, restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals and institutions, as well as other interested parties, were in attendance.

If you could not attend this event, check back for information on additional Food Rescue Forums hosted by the county. To receive updates on the county’s food rescue mission and programs, send an e-mail to . Also, see our Food Waste page for related information.