Daily Digest: Food waste investment boom, PFAS in New Hampshire
Each day, the Waste Dive team rounds up in our Daily Digest news, insights and moments from around the industry you may have missed.
Earlier this summer at the U.S. Food Waste Summit, panelists from investment firms and foundations shared lessons learned from the past couple years of food waste funding. They said interest had grown dramatically, but many of the projects were still small-scale and nothing had emerged to potentially become that dream food waste IPO.
Some attendees felt the need for more collection and processing infrastructure got overlooked in discussions that week, because no matter how successful upstream solutions are, there will inevitably be some amount of organic waste leftover in the current system.
Waste Dive uses a similar lens to inform its coverage of organics, and doesn't always follow the latest upstream technology as closely, but this string of recent announcements is worth a closer look.
- Full Harvest just announced raising $8.5 million in Series A funding, as reported by VentureBeat. The California-based company that helps farmers sell irregular produce plans to further scale its technology platform, increase its U.S. footprint in the U.S. and hire more staff. This comes after raising $2 million in seed funding last spring.
- Karma, a Swedish platform that allows restaurants and grocery stores to sell unused food at a discount, recently announced its own $12 million in Series A funding. Tech Crunch reports the company has partnered with 1,500 locations so far and recently expanded to the U.K. Funding will be used to grow the company's team and expand into new European markets.
- AgroFresh Solutions, based in Philadelphia, recently acquired Internet of Things (IoT) cold chain logistics company, Verigo. Waste 360 reports this "led to the creation of FreshCloud, a comprehensive technology platform that prevents food waste by tracking produce quality throughout the value chain and providing actionable insights from farm to retailer."
What has stood out to you lately in the food waste funding world? What type of coverage would help inform your own work in business or government? As always, we're glad to hear from you at [email protected]
IN OTHER NEWS
NWRA hires new safety VP — Press Release
The National Waste & Recycling Association announced Kirk Sander will be coming on as Vice President of Safety and Standards. Sander's resume includes time at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Safety Council, Department of the Interior, the White House and NASA. His position is envisioned as a combination of the work done by former NWRA safety employees Anthony Hargis and Bret Biggers.
SWANA issues new yard waste collection report — SWANA
The report provides analysis of scheduling, processes and costs associated with collections programs, using Charlotte, North Carolina as its model because the city collects yard waste at more than 216,000 single-family residences. The study explores new options for improving collections, including truck automation, scheduling adjustments and compostable bag requirements. Yard waste collection has been a challenge for some haulers due to the national driver shortage, one example being the ongoing difficulties Waste Management faces in Omaha, Nebraska.
Coakley Landfill cap may be source of PFAS breach — NHPR
A contractor for Coakley Landfill Group, which comprises local towns and businesses that contributed to pollution at the Superfund site in New Hampshire, says it found stormwater running off the landfill cap is likely the source of PFAS discovered in a waterway near the facility, called Berry's Brook. Since the cap was manufactured using plastics containing PFAS, the group said rainwater hitting the cap and running into the waterway could be why studies are finding high rates of the chemical. More research is needed for confirmation. Environmental contamination from PFAS is becoming one of the bigger issues facing landfill managers, with increased focus on remediation standards by the EPA.
Waste Management donates $100,000 for recycling education — 3BL Media
At next week's WASTECON in Nashville, Tennessee, The Recycling Partnership and Keep America Beautiful will put on a workshop to train recycling managers, focusing on the Southeast region. The workshop is a part of a larger three-month training program and is funded entirely by a contribution from Waste Management. It will focus on best management practices for recycling programs and also includes webinar sessions.
Vietnam's plastic industry suffers after import ban — VN Express
Due to the government's recent decision to stop scrap imports and the lack of proper domestic plastic recycling programs, many firms are reporting that they face significant profit losses in the coming months. VN Express reports more than 6,600 shipping containers of scrap are sitting at Cat Lai and Hai Phong ports, but importers don't want to claim them due to steep purity requirements.
Do you have events or webinars that should be on our agenda this week? Email [email protected]