rescue. recover. renew.


Circular Innovation Council simplifies food rescue and reduces the cost of organic waste diversion through innovative, cooperative pilot programs tailored for the institutional, commercial, and industrial (IC&I) sector—making impacts where it’s needed the most.   

Participants, including businesses and institutions of any size and type, will benefit by:

  • Leveraging accurate  real-time, food waste measurement technology 
  • Accessing innovative, collective reduced cost-sharing model
  • Accessing convenient, high-quality local organics collection and processing services
  • Producing clean valuable compost
  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to transport and disposal
  • Rescuing edible food for redistribution to local community partners to reduce food insecurity


The pilot educates and supports all types of businesses and institutions on keeping edible food  and valuable compost out of waste bins, working with food rescue partners and their technology to simplify edible food donations to local community agencies, and make composting affordable.

To reduce the cost of food waste diversion, the program mimics the collection efficiencies of the municipal door-to-door waste collection model by designing regionally consolidated food waste collection services among neighbouring businesses. Participants can include any facility or business that generates food and food waste;  grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, and more.

Our Current Locations


  1. Optimize food waste diversion through cost reduction by designing a regionally consolidated collection route to improve efficiency.
  2. Reduce emissions by diverting food waste from disposal through optimized routing  and participant densification.
  3. Increase social impact and reduce costs by recovering edible food to local community agencies for distribution.
  4. Develop a first-of-its-kind co-operative financial model to share costs and leverage business buying power, whereby organic waste costs are shared by participants based on the amount of waste generated rather than per bin.
  5. Create a template and model that can be replicated in other communities across Canada.
  6. Test state of the art technology that provides real-time data to maximize organics collection while reducing costs. 


Historically, business or institutional locations had to find their own organics collection service provider and pay premiums for the individual services.  In other cases they didn’t generate enough organics to find a service provider.   This uncoordinated individual approach causes  collection inefficiencies and increased costs. Simultaneously, with limited regulatory requirements and higher costs for diverting food waste over garbage disposal, many IC&I establishments are throwing valuable and sometimes edible food waste in the garbage. Part of the problem is the lack of accurate data to help businesses manage and divert food waste. This pilot solves these problems. 

Pathways of food waste generation and utilization in the circular economy pilots. Food waste is diverted from retail, wholesale and restaurants, hotels, and institutions to food rescue and organic waste operations. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Program Contact

Katie Motta
Program Manager
[email protected]



Icons: Sharing Platform and Resource Recovery. Two circular business models.

Sharing Platform: Fully utilizes assets by maximizing usage and value amongst many users. 

Resource Recovery: Acquires additional use and value from existing resources by avoiding disposal and impacts from new resource extraction.


Circular Innovation Council is a proud finalist of the Food Waste Reduction Challenge’s Business Model Streams, funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Out of 255 submissions from 131 cities, the pilot in collaboration with Our Food Future Guelph-Wellington was awarded Special Mention at the Milan Urban Food Pact Global Forum. Read more >


[1] Nikkel, L., Maguire, M., Gooch, M., Bucknell, D., LaPlain, D., Dent, B., Whitehead, P., Felfel, A. (2019). The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste: Roadmap; Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International; Ontario, Canada. Accessible from: