Iowa Waste Reduction Center awarded $99,000 grant to reduce food waste in rural Iowa

UNI campus

UNI NEWS SERVICES – The University of Northern Iowa’s Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) is launching a Comprehensive Regional Food Waste Diversion Project with help from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The goal of this program is to decrease the amount of food waste discarded in landfills by providing direct, on-site assistance and training for key food waste stakeholders within Iowa and the Upper Midwest. The IWRC has determined 17 regions of need, containing 209 municipalities within the states of Iowa (169), Illinois (14), Minnesota (15), Missouri (2) and Wisconsin (9) to target for the Comprehensive Regional Food Waste Diversion Project. 

“It's so simple, but our approach is innovative,” said Jennifer Trent, IWRC’s waste reduction specialist. “We will be bringing food waste stakeholders together on a regional scale to address food waste collectively to expand available diversion opportunities.” 

These meetings will help stakeholders, such as schools, community leaders, local nonprofits, waste haulers, landfills and restaurants, forge partnerships that broaden options to divert food waste while utilizing EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy.

To learn more about this program, please visit

About UNI Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) 

The IWRC is a nationally recognized organization at the University of Northern Iowa devoted to environmental consulting, assistance, training and education for entities with environmental impact or need.  The Center’s programs and services all maintain a focus on helping businesses and organizations to reduce waste.  The IWRC is located in the Business and Community Services building at the University of Northern Iowa.



Ricki Alford, marketing and communications, UNI Business and Community Services, 319-273-6729 

Steve Schmadeke, UNI public relations manager, 319-273-6120,