Lancaster, PA (May 4, 2015) – Recycling papers and plastic bottles is a step in the right direction, but 30 percent of food is thrown away in the United States, and it is the second highest component of landfills.

Franklin & Marshall College teamed up with ERC in 2014, and in the first year of its food waste recycling program, diverted 73.4 tons. The organic matter is taken by ERC to Oregon Dairy and composted by Terra-Gro, becoming high-end compost for Franklin & Marshall’s athletic fields.

“ERC has been helpful through the entire process. They showed us how to avoid some of the common pitfalls, and even helped negotiate a good price for truly biodegradable bags,” Tom Simpson, Sustainability Coordinator at Franklin & Marshall.

Closing the loop on this sustainable disposal of food waste not only helps the environment in a measurable way, but also raises awareness for the college’s students, who participate in the program at every meal by discarding uneaten food into bins provided by ERC.

F&M is a participating member of the Pennsylvania Environmental Resources Consortium, which was awarded the EPA’s esteemed Food Recovery Challenge Endorser of the Year for 2014.

“ERC makes it easy for a facility to put a composting program in place. We are usually challenged by the logistics of our partners knowing how to collect and transport the food waste, but ERC does everything from evaluation to providing the containers and transporting, all for one fee,” said Loren Martin, General Manager of Terra-Gro.

Not all food waste recycling programs are as thorough as the one designed for F&M, which even allows for meat and dairy to be included.

“We work with Terra-Gro because they have the highest possible certification in composting, which means we can compost absolutely every drop of food waste,” said CJ Filak, Account Executive with ERC. “That means more food waste ends back with the generator in a valuable form, which is the perfect outcome.”

About ERC

ERC is the region’s largest turnkey provider of complete food waste recycling (including meat), and specializes in setting up new systems for schools, restaurants, and corporate cafeterias.

ERC, a private, family-owned business since 1988, is one of the largest residual waste-processing facilities in the mid-Atlantic region, processing millions of gallons of residual waste every year. ERC processes a wide variety of non-hazardous waste materials from a variety of industries. Learn more at