Milan opens new anti-waste food hub

Sharing excess food with the needy.

Milan’s borough 9 plans to save 70 tons of food per year which would otherwise be discarded, and recycle it to the needy through a new “anti-waste hub”, opened this week in Via Borsieri.

The hub is the product of a protocol called ZeroSprechi (zero waste), signed by city hall with the Lombardy entrepreneurs’ association Assolombarda and Milan’s Politecnico university. It is a direct result of the city’s Food Policy, born as a spin-off from the hugely successful, food-themed Expo Milano 2015.

The hub will collect excess food from the retail sector, school lunch canteens, street and covered markets and other sources, redistributing it to non-profit NGOs to ensure it is not discarded, but instead reaches the more fragile citizens and residents having difficulty in affording an adequate diet. Contributions from the retail sector will be encouraged by tax breaks.

Politecnico will monitor the operations for a year and develop a logistical model which can then be applied to other boroughs, creating a network of anti-waste hubs around the city, while Assolombarda has identified and involved companies willing to take part in the initiative, awarding a “ZeroSprechi seal” to spread the word and attract new participants.

A similar hub already operating in Via degli Umiliati specifically for poor children will share its experience with shelving and management, and ensure connection with the local networks already operating in the sector.