Culture Food Policy News

Restaurants In Austin Can No Longer Throw Away Excess Food By Law

The city of Austin, Texas is pushing forward the food waste narrative by forcing its entire restaurant industry to get creative with its excess food.

Photo: Peter Pham // Foodbeast

KXAN reports that restaurants in the city are now barred from tossing their excess food in the trash at the end of each night. It’s part of the city’s new Universal Recycling Ordinance, which is part of a Zero Waste initiative that Austin hopes to complete by 2040.

A lot of waste coming from the city’s businesses fell into the “organic materials” category, which included food, based on a previous study. Thus, Austin was looking for ways to cut down the waste.

It also means that restaurants will have to get creative with what they do with their food. They can donate the food, compost it, or give it to local farms, giving them a variety of options to deal with the leftovers.

Many potential solutions have been developed on a global scale for what’s going on in Austin right now. Food hackers have developed apps that allow restaurants to declare excess food, meaning that food banks or individuals looking for something to eat can then head to that spot to pick it up.

An app like that would definitely be useful for Austin’s food community, and help create a solution that combats food waste and feeds the hungry at the same time. Considering that the US throws out enough food to feed nearly the entire country, we’re going to need more of those to combat that massive issue in the years to come. Austin could be a great testing grounds for that technology as a result.

By Constantine Spyrou

Constantine's life revolves around eating, studying, and talking about food. He's obsessed with eggs, gyros, and the future of food.