Lane County

At a Glance


Government/Public Administration

Project Types

Data Analysis, Engagement and Behavior Change, Food and Agriculture




Eugene, OR


Tatum Flowers identified food waste reduction outreach strategies to help food businesses donate edible food and increase participation in commercial composting.


Lane County Waste Management recognizes the significant economic, social, and environmental impacts of food waste from large food businesses. Tatum Flowers tailored food waste reduction guidance to meet each business’ goals. Tatum championed education and engagement efforts, identified data and knowledge gaps, onboarded businesses to the commercial composting program, and constructed a comprehensive outreach program to further reduce commercial food waste among commercial. 


Tatum approached the challenge using a three-part process:

  • Identified outreach methods to engage businesses. After understanding the food business landscape, Tatum found that in-person meetings with businesses boosted her rapport, ability to understand specific needs, and onboard businesses. Tatum supported businesses by connecting them to community partners to ensure program sustainability.
  • Identified marketing strategies. Tatum tailored her approach to diverse food businesses by influencing businesses through phone calls, emails, social media, newspapers, and presentations. Tatum invited community leader, Alex Reyna, to join her in providing program information to ensure businesses from Spanish-speaking communities were linked to accessible information and organizations.
  • Established baseline data of food waste generated by each industry sector. 

Potential Impact

Food waste reduction education encourages businesses to act as a force for good, enables cost savings, and strengthens community resilience and partnerships.

Tatum successfully engaged with 264 food businesses, established multiple food donation partnerships, on-boarded a seafood market, the Lane County Jail, and connected with the Springfield School District to enable composting at the 20 schools within the region. to divert approximately 500 tons of food waste annually.

Tatum created a comprehensive plan, including recommendations to establish work groups, and social media campaigns, to shift commercial composting service rate structures, and update policy to ensure program sustainability.

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