Voices of Impact podcast featuring an interview with GrubTubs founder, Robert Oliver.
The Texas city of Austin implemented a new ordinance this week preventing restaurants from disposing of food waste in landfills.
Restaurants may donate unconsumed food, send scraps to farms or compost it under the law that took effect Oct. 1. The measure also stipulates that employees receive training about handling the waste.
“The City is committed to helping companies, large and small, find cost-effective solutions and establish diversion programs to ensure food and other organics are put to best use while meeting ordinance requirements,” Sam Angoori, interim director of Austin Resource Recovery, an organization helping businesses sustainably transform food waste, said Monday in a statement.
Austin, the Texas state capital, decided to focus on restaurants after a 2015 study determined that more than 85 percent of trash and recycling came from commercial businesses, multifamily properties and the food service industry. The study showed 37 percent of what ended up in landfills is organic waste that is compostable.
The new law bolsters the city’s goal of zero waste by 2040. In addition to encouraging food donation and composting, the plan calls for expanded recycling and economic development.
Nationwide, 40 percent of food goes to waste, yet tens of millions of people are food-insecure, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“When we waste food, we not only add organic materials to landfills (where they generate methane, a powerful global warming pollutant), but we also waste all the water, land, energy, money, labor, and other resources that go into growing, processing, distributing and storing that food,” said Darby Hoover, senior resource specialist at an NRDC program focused on food waste.
A handful of cities have enacted similar initiatives. San Francisco, considered the leader of the pack on food waste reduction, diverts about 80 percent of its total waste from landfills. In Seattle, all residents, buildings and food businesses are required to sign up for a food waste collection service. Large restaurants and food retailers in New York City are required to responsibly dispose of their extra food as well.
Clarification: A previous headline indicated the ordinance was a ban when in fact it requires businesses with food permits to create a food diversion plan.
Austin INNO | By Adam Rosenfield - April 20, 2018
You’re having dinner on a Friday night at a top barbecue establishment in Austin. Unfortunately, you couldn’t finish the three meat combo and two sides you ordered. You can’t take it home, so you throw it away.
Even worse, the restaurant has makes a bit too much, and the staff throws the food in the dumpster, never to be seen again. Seems like a waste of food, right?
GrubTubs turns food waste into animal feed
Gloria Dawson | Mar 12, 2018 | Restaurant Hospitality
For Robert Olivier, it started with a grub. The larvae of the black soldier fly is no ordinary grub though, he stresses. It’s a super grub of sorts. Or at least, it’s a super recycler. And Olivier is on a quest to harness the grub’s power to reduce food waste.
Through his business, GrubTubs, Olivier puts those mighty grubs to work on wasted food gathered from restaurant, hotel, and corporate kitchens. Those grubs eat the food waste and then the company brings the grubs to local farms where they become food for chickens and pigs. Ultimately, those chickens or pigs could end up on back in the kitchen, and the cycle starts all over again.
Lori Hawkins | American-Statesman Staff
For startups, South by Southwest is both an opportunity to break out, and a challenge to get above the noise.
More than 600 applicants from the world applied for a spot on stage, and 50 finalists were chosen from countries including Germany, the U.K., France, China, Norway, Canada, Kenya, Netherlands, Finland and the Congo.
SX Startups: GrubTubs Transforms Waste
The Forrest Four-Cast: February 28, 2018
At the 2018 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event on March 10 and 11, 50 diverse startups will attempt to wow a panel of judges with their skills, creativity and innovation. Winners in each of 10 categories will be honored at the Accelerator Award Ceremony at 7 pm Sunday, March 11, at the Hilton Austin, Salon AB. Network with all the finalists from 11 am to 1:30 pm on Monday, March 12, at SXSW Accelerator Demo Day, at the Hilton Austin, Salon C. The SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event (as well as the Demo Day) takes place within the Startup & Tech Sectors track of programming.
A finalist in the Hyper-Connected Communities Technology category , the Austin-based company GrubTubs solves for the overabundance of food waste from restaurants by creating nutrient-rich animal feed that is affordable for local family farms. By diverting waste from landfills and improving business economics for small farmers, GrubTubs is working to reimagine America’s food, energy and waste cycles. See them pitch at 5 pm on Saturday, March 10, in the Hilton Austin, Salon AB. Robert Olivier, GrubTubs CEO, answered our questions.
BIG WHEELBARROW AND GRUBTUBS WILL VIE FOR A PRIZE DURING THIS YEAR'S SXSW
BY MEGAN KIMBLE | Austin Monthly
People don’t pay enough attention to how food gets from one place to another. That’s the premise behind Food+City, an Austin-based nonprofit working to improve how we feed cities. “The food supply chain is really hidden from the consumer,” says Cole Leslie, a communications specialist at Food+City. “It’s hidden in plain sight.”
Food+City was founded in 2012 to support entrepreneurs developing solutions in food transportation, logistics, and storage, with a focus on technology over products. In addition to publishing a biannual magazine, Food+City sponsors a yearly prize to inspire change in food logistics, awarded this month at South by Southwest for the first time. After receiving 90 applications from companies in 14 different countries, Food+City invited 15 finalists to SXSW for the chance to win up to $50,000 in cash and business development services. Two Austin-based companies are finalists, and they’ve been honing their pitches.
SXSW Startup: GrubTubs Uses Restaurant Food Waste To Support Local Farmers
Nibletz.com, by Jeff Thomas
The biggest cost in the farming industry is animal feed. Even with the rise in popularity of farm to table restaurants, direct to home produce and farmer’s markets, many family farmers are reinvesting their revenue right into animal feed. Also, animal feed is a big burden on farm acreage. Animal feed takes up around 70% of the farm acreage.
At the same time, American’s waste an estimated 133 billion pounds of food annually. Wasted food ends up in landfills where it can have a negative impact on the environment.
What if there was a way to help cut back some of this wasted food and solve the animal feed problem at the same time?
That’s exactly what GrubTubs does.
GrubTubs is proud to announce our inclusion as a finalist in the Food+City Challenge Prize in Austin this March!
The fourth annual Food+City Prize competition will be at SXSW for the first time since its creation. Applicants from five continents and fourteen countries applied for consideration by the esteemed group of advisors, judges and mentors leading the Food+City committee. Of these applicants, the top 15 companies were chosen as finalists to present on-stage during SXSW. These finalists represent a diverse range of logistical solutions and come from all stages of development. From Puerto Rico to Africa, idea-stage to scale-stage, these 15 supply chain startups will pitch at SXSW in March 2018 for the chance to win up to $50,000 in prizes.