RIT has received a federal grant to research sustainable solutions for minimizing and managing the growing and complex challenges of food waste.
The $1 million National Science Foundation grant was awarded to Callie Babbitt, an associate professor at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.
The four-year project will launch a collaboration with faculty from five RIT colleges. They will study how innovative technologies, waste management systems and policies can reduce the volume and environmental impacts of food waste while at the same time creating economic growth and maximizing efficient use of energy and water resources.
Babbitt says that about 40 percent of food produced in the U.S. is never eaten. He says an average American household spends almost $2,000 every year on food that goes straight to a landfill.
This project will also leverage established industrial and community partnerships, working with Wegmans and Synergy Biogas to collect data about the volume and composition of food waste streams in Upstate NY.