For Earth Day this year, Wellstar Health System is making a difference for our environment and supporting our neighbors facing food insecurity. The recently launched Organic Recycling Program at the Wellstar Corporate Office (WCO) in Marietta has already diverted almost one ton of food waste from landfills, preventing over 675 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
Wellstar Celebrates Earth Day with Programs Addressing Food Waste
Published on April 21, 2023
Last updated 12:05 PM April 21, 2023
Wellstar launches organic recycling program
The WCO Bistro prepares food for all of Wellstar’s health parks, hospital bistros and the entire system’s catering.
This recycling program at the WCO is a partnership between Wellstar Community Health, the Wellstar Foundation, Catalyst by Wellstar, Wellstar Strategic Community Development and Goodr, a sustainable food waste management and hunger relief company.
Food scraps like onion and banana peels are recycled and composted at Gainesville Waste and Recycle. Special bins are used to collect the scraps. Food compost helps the soil retain moisture and nutrients, reduces the need for pesticides and fertilizers, and sequesters carbon dioxide (storing it in the soil away from the atmosphere), according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The benefits to our environment don’t stop there. Every three pounds of waste diverted creates one pound of soil, which means we have created about 650 pounds of healthy soil in one month. In a year, it’s also calculated that the carbon sequestered would be the same as 4.4 acres of forest – the size of over three football fields.
Wellstar also has other programs that reduce our carbon footprint and give back to our communities on a systemwide level.
The surplus food recovery program with Goodr launched in September 2020 at Wellstar Cobb Medical Center. Leftover food is donated to food delivery resources for underserved communities. The program has expanded to Wellstar Windy Hill Hospital and Paulding Medical Center, helping serve over 14,000 meals and preventing over 17,000 pounds of waste and nine thousand pounds of carbon emissions. Another partnership with Second Helpings Atlanta to deliver food from the Wellstar Corporate Office has already served 3,304 meals, diverting nearly two tons of food from landfills. Second Helpings Atlanta is a nonprofit organization working to reduce hunger and food waste in metro Atlanta.
As a nonprofit organization, Wellstar is committed to the health and well-being of our communities, and that commitment extends beyond the walls of our hospitals and health parks. For more information on how the Wellstar Foundation makes these programs possible, visit wellstar.org/foundation.