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Recycle, Wrap It

2011 December 12

By Jeri Weiss

Here’s a quick quiz: 1. What happens to the packaged snacks second graders decide not to eat? 2. What do hotels do with the half rolls of toilet-paper and half bottles of shampoo you leave behind? 3. Where does uneaten food, including food still in wrappers, end up after a conference ends.

You guessed it: these items end up in the trash.

If you’re anything like me, this kind of waste makes you want to eat food when you’re already full and tote slimy shampoo bottles across the country when you leave a hotel. But a group called Rock and Wrap It Up! has come up with a better solution. And recently this group, along with the Boston Bruins and National Hockey League was recognized by EPA at the Boston Garden.

During the 2010-11 season, the Boston Bruins donated 3,796 meals to the Boston Rescue Mission, keeping about 2.5 tons of food from being thrown out)

In honor of America Recycles Day Nov. 15, EPA teamed up with the Bruins, the New Jersey Devils and the NHL to recognize the program in which the Bruins donate prepared but unused, safe edible food to the Boston Rescue Mission and help to feed needy people while also accomplishing an important environmental service. NHL teams across the country recycle more than 105 tons of food, giving out 163,000 meals in North America.
Food donation is so simple, it’s hard to imagine what took us so long. It has little or no program start-up cost, and provides needed food to hungry people.

Rock and Wrap it Up began at the Jones Beach Theater in New York, when the manager agreed to give away rather than throw away food left over by a band. The organization quickly grew to include theaters across the country, then schools, hotels and sports venues.

Since 1991, Rock and Wrap it Up has given more than 250 million pounds of food. Among the the hotel groups participating are the Langham and Lenox hotels in Boston.

Rock and Wrap It Up’s newest project is, an online database of charitable organizations. Any anti-poverty organization that wants to be on the list can send information in through a straightforward online application and individuals can also get involved through the website.

The cliché is never more true than when it comes to food waste– your trash is truly someone else’s treasure.

Rock It and Wrap It Up (

About the author: Jeri Weiss works in EPA’s New England regional office, in Boston. She is one of the region’s experts on recycling and waste management issues.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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8 Responses leave one →
  1. Arman permalink
    December 12, 2011

    Don’t Throw Its To The Seas !!!

    Congratulations to Rock and Wrap it Up Group with your dedication. I hope the communities in the world should follow their idea, but don’t throw its to the seas…..!!!

  2. w harter permalink
    December 12, 2011

    Living in upstate South carolina, we are unable to give left-over food to prisions, soup kitchens, etc. Gov’t regulations stopped us from doing this many years age. Our church has a meal program and any left-overs now have to be disposed of and cannot be given away to “organized groups”.

  3. kiyohisa tanada permalink
    December 12, 2011

    The disposal of food is an important problem.
    I do not have “the likes and dislikes of the food” basically.
    There is considerably the person with many “likes and dislikes of the food”.
    You should respect the personal freedom
    But the talk that is terrible for “a person of the food allergy”
    The solution to the problem is great,
    Education from childhood to a meal
    It is sold “the junk food” at school
    I think that this is a problem.

  4. Jillian Michaels diet plan permalink
    December 13, 2011

    Great attempt altogether. Really appreciate the effort, liked the topic. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Stephen Colley permalink
    December 13, 2011

    Matching perfectly good unused food for the hungry is a great idea. I hope it expands to all food supply operations such as catering companies such as Jason’s Deli. The article still leaves open the question of what happens to the half-rolls of toilet paper and left-over shampoos and soaps. Certainly there could be pathways of re-use for these items as well. They have the added benefit of having a longer shelf-life than unused food after all.

  6. Syd Mandelbaum,CEO permalink
    December 13, 2011

    We are humbled to be honored by the EPA. There is so much more to do!

  7. permalink
    September 3, 2013

    A good example ah.

  8. coverskin permalink
    September 13, 2013

    There are several different ways to make money for organizations. Some of them are easier to make money with than others. One method to consider is using cotton candy machines and making several different kinds to distribute. The size and type will be considered by figuring out where it will be used and how much it needs to produce.

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