CIC and Sustainable Waterloo Region partner up to continue solving the commercial food waste problem together

When you get two organizations together that have a shared vision for a sustainable future, a commitment to supporting businesses and organizations by making it easier, and a spirit of collaboration, a great partnership is born. 

This year, Circular Innovation Council and Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR) have come together to continue driving forward CIC’s Commercial Food Waste Diversion Pilot to support the business community in Guelph and Wellington County to reduce their food waste! Since the project’s launch in 2021, CIC has worked to test the best structures, delivery models, and communications and outreach for the region. As we move forward into next stages, the team at SWR have joined forces with us for the local management of the pilot. They will assist in transforming the pilot into a long-lasting program for the region that continues offering accessible food rescue and organics collection and diversion services for the business community for years to come.

SWR is an experienced social enterprise non-profit in the region that is a leader in transforming sustainable resource systems, climate impact in business communities, and fostering a more diverse economy and a more equitable community. SWR are experts in supporting businesses to find the spot where financial and environmental sustainability can come together. We’re thrilled to work alongside an organization with such dedication and enthusiasm for continued social, environmental, and economic improvement in our communities.

With SWR’s support, the program continues to work with a variety of small, medium, and large enterprises, including restaurants, caterers, and cafes, to daycares, seniors residences, grocery stores, offices, and strip malls. We continue to work with our existing partners to make sure usable food is brought to those suffering from food insecurity, and taking businesses’ organic waste to a local composting facility to be transformed into nutrient-rich compost for local soil health.

Businesses’ participating in food rescue can have surplus food donations picked up for free. For businesses interested in composting, the cost of the organic waste collection service is subsidized by the program, but CIC and SWR will be working together to find a way to keep the program viable after the pilot has been completed. Our joint team is also working together to find new ways to celebrate and promote the continued efforts of our current participants!

Currently the program offers this service to businesses and organizations in Guelph, Centre Wellington, and Arthur. The goal is to serve additional locations in this area throughout the summer months, while the future vision is to consider bringing this service to SWR’s broader community including Waterloo region, Perth, and Oxford Counties. 

If you are interested in being part of this pilot, or the possible future program, in Guelph-Wellington and Waterloo region please reach out at [email protected], or visit the program website at https://circularinnovation.ca/guelphwellingtonpilot/ 

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