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​​​​Food Waste Watchers Program​​​​

Apply H​​ERE. Applications accepted until December 8th, 2023.

Aplica AQUÍ.​ Se aceptarán solicitudes hasta el 8 de diciembre de 2023.

​Did you know that 40 percent of all food in America is wasted and that a four-person family can lose about $1,500 a year on wasted food?

The City of Phoenix has partnered with researchers from the Radical Simplicity Lab in the College of Health Solutions at ASU to implement Food Waste Watchers, a food waste reduction program that aims to help Phoenix residents prevent food waste, practice composting, and save money. The program is based upon the Waste Watchers program, previously developed and implemented for the City of Phoenix Public Works Department in 2018-2019, which will be adapted and expanded to include up to 400 households. 

About the Program

Food Waste Watchers is a free program that provides food waste prevention and composting education, including a free compost collection service for residents living in food deserts and COVID-19-impacted areas in the City of Phoenix. Participants will learn how to decrease food loss and waste through practical and usable tips, such as better food purchasing, storing food practices, meal planning tools, and composting. By adopting better practices, residents can save money and reduce your impact to the environment.

Participants will: 

Food Waste Infographic 1.png

What to exp​ect:

  • An introductory survey to assess personal norms, habits, and food security in your household/
  • Supplies for collecting food waste for pickup by the City’s contracted waste collectors, which may include compostable bags and/or buckets. Participants will be trained on how to collect food waste and how to dispose of them for waste collectors’ weekly or biweekly removal.
  • Participants will be divided into two groups: an experimental group that will receive the program first, and a ‘wait-listed’ control group that will receive the program after the experimental group. This will give the ASU team a chance to see how the program works compared to participants who aren’t yet receiving the program. It also means everyone in the program will eventually receive all the educational materials and resources.
  • Educational content that will include web-based text information, downloadable tools, infographics, videos, and a podcast delivered through an interactive online portal.
  • Over the course of five weeks, participants will have access to educational content teaching them strategies to reduce food waste in the home through grocery shopping, strategic storage and cooking concepts, information about expiration dates, and freezer usage. 
  • ASU will conduct in-depth interviews with participants to assess what cultural factors, if any, facilitate or hinder food waste prevention.

Why is managing food waste important?

  • Reducing food waste adds money to your pocket.
  • Your opportunities for healthful eating are increased.
  • Food waste in landfills creates methane gas and contributes to climate change. 
Food Waste Infographic 2.png

Application Requirements


  • Live within the boundaries of the following urban​​ villages​ including Estrella, Laveen, Maryvale, Alhambra, Central City, South Mountain Villages and food desert areas in Deer Valley and North Mountain.  ​​Find your village here.
  • Live within a low- to moderate-income census tract within the boundaries noted above.


Have an annual household income per the U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) FY2023 Limits as follows:

# of people in Househo​ld

Annual Income$52,400$59,850$67,350$74,800$80,800$86,800$92,800$98,750

The applicant is expected to:

  • Be 18 years of age or older to participate
  • Be primary person who buys and prepares food for the household
  • Participate in the program for the full year
  • Be willing to provide data to the City, ASU, or its partners throughout the duration of the program
  • Partake in self-directed education using provided online tool
  • Complete 15-minute introductory survey on demographics and health
  • Complete two follow-up 10-minute surveys throughout the year
  • Complete weekly 1-2 minue surveys for 5 weeks.
  • Complete weekly food waste collection for 50 weeks.
  • Optional: Partake in an in-depth interview upon completion of the program.

​City of Phoenix employees are ​not eligible for this program.

Applications are being accepted through Dec. 8. If selected, you will be notified before the end of 2023 with the program beginning mid-January 2024.  

Apply HERE. Applications accepted until December 8th, 2023.

Aplica AQUÍ.​ Se aceptarán solicitudes hasta el 8 de diciembre de 2023.