Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has estimated that over 94,500 tons of food from Seattle businesses end up in the compost or garbage. If just 5 percent was edible and could be rescued and redistributed, it could result in nearly 8 million additional meals for food insecure individuals. To support efforts to reduce food insecurity while simultaneously diverting less food to the waste stream, the UW Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center will build on the work of Seattle’s Food Rescue Innovation Lab to build a shared, data-driven understanding of the logistics of food rescue in the Puget Sound. This multi-year collaboration will build a community interested in rethinking food rescue logistics to improve access, food quality, and user experience while also reducing waste. Ultimately, the city could use the findings of this research to inform external investments in the form of funding for community partners to test new kinds of collaboration, vehicles, storage, and more, and internal investments into things such as fleet electrification, charging station locations, and cold storage aggregation to serve food rescue without increasing climate change impacts.
Principal Investigator: Anne V. Goodchild, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW
Sponsor: Seattle Public Utilities
Expected completion: December 2022