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What to Do with All This Food? Examining the Emerging Food Waste Hauling Network in Western New York State

Given the recent interest in food waste recycling from a sustainability perspective and the impending New York State (NYS) policy banning the disposal of food waste in landfills, the demand for food waste hauling services will soon increase in NYS.

Research By:

  • William Armington
  • Robert B. Chen

Abstract:

Given the recent interest in food waste recycling from a sustainability perspective and the impending New York State (NYS) policy banning the disposal of food waste in landfills, the demand for food waste hauling services will soon increase in NYS. Commercial establishments generating two tons of food waste per week will be subject to these new regulations, but will expect to pay no more than their current disposal costs for food waste collection. However, new services will face more complex decisions than traditional waste hauling due to the variability in food waste generated and material constraints of food waste recycling facilities. This paper considers the shift in transportation practices to meet the complexities of food waste management. Current transportation perspectives exist to help waste hauling companies solve their allocation and routing decision problems, but material blending during network routing is relatively new. A formulation that presents allocation and blending of food waste to different recycling facilities is presented and applied to Western NYS, showing a small transportation cost decrease. As promising as the results from this example are, future work should focus on combining allocation, routing, and blending of food waste to create a complete picture of waste hauling in emerging food waste recycling networks.

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Citation:

Armington, WA, & Chen, RB. (2018). What to Do with All This Food? Examining the Emerging Food Waste Hauling Network in Western New York State. Transportation Research Board 97th Annual Meeting. Retrieved from http://par.nsf.gov/biblio/10073105