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The Resource

The Resource

By Lydia Hillman, Department of Public Works and Transportation

Photo of orange peels in a tin

According to the FDA, food waste is the largest category of material placed in municipal landfills—an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply is wasted per year. Save money and reduce food waste at home and during events with the following tips.

Donate, Don’t Dump

If you're hosting a large event and have bulk food leftovers, share surplus food with your neighbors or donate your leftover food to a local agency that addresses hunger in your community (registered as a 501(c)(3) organization). Find a food pantry near you.

If you're worried about liability, consult the federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act to see how you are protected.

Make the Most of Your Food Scraps

Use food scraps in your kitchen and home:

  • Stale bread—Use your stale slices of bread to make French toast or breadcrumbs.
  • Bones—Slow cook bones in water to make a delicious bone broth. Once the bones are soft, blend or purée the completely softened bones to make a treat for your dog!
  • Citrus peels—Use dried peels to make your own candied citrus peels, air freshener or mix with your favorite tea blend.
  • Banana peels—Put the peels in your watering can. Add water and use this water to hydrate plants that need a boost of potassium. Once you are finished, dispose of the peels in your home compost.
  • Check out recipes that utilize common leftovers from Love Food Hate Waste.
  • Use your food scraps outside in your garden as nutrient-rich compost!
  • Review our February 2022 blog post for tips and information to help you waste less food.
Photo of Trevor Hummel

Q: What made you apply for your current role as Baltimore County’s recycling contract and marketing manager?

TH: It was time for me to get into government-scale waste management. I had worked in smaller operations in the past. I wanted to get access and join a team involved in managing bigger projects, on the billion-pound scale. I’m grateful to have been picked up by Baltimore County Bureau of Solid Waste, which is a dream team for me.

Q: Can you describe the kind of work you do in this role?

TH: I monitor contracts and compliance for our household hazardous waste program, which is a special category of waste that must be carefully isolated and treated to keep citizens safe. I have also been tasked with maximizing the revenue from our recycling facility, which will create value for the County and its vendors, and be an environmental win. Finally, I lead tours and educational sessions for interested minds who will share this knowledge with other county residents.

Q: What did you do before joining Baltimore County Bureau of Solid Waste Management?

TH: I managed Recycling and Zero Waste operations for two major Maryland universities, and I have also been involved in textiles recycling in the private sector.

Q: In your opinion, what is one of the most significant challenges facing the recycling industry?

TH: In challenging scenarios, I look to “control the controllables.” Upstream and downstream interventions are required for great recycling. I’d like to see better technology, and more of it, steer the future of the industry as a whole. I’m convinced that with robotics, machine learning and vision, we will see big leaps in our ability to process materials and increase recovery rates.

Q: Do you have any hobbies or a favorite activity?

TH: Long distance cycling. I’ve biked in 23 states, two countries, completed one triple century, and covered nearly 3,000 miles in one multi-week stretch. I’m always happy to go for a ride.

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