My Experience with Leanpath  

Daniel Lemos 

Since the fall of 2022, I’ve been immersed in the world of food waste reduction as a Food Waste Coordinator at the dining halls of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, working closely with the Leanpath system. Our primary mission has been to tackle food waste head-on by instilling a culture of accountability among our staff, ensuring every bit of waste is meticulously tracked and addressed. By streamlining our waste tracking processes, achieving significant reductions in food waste has become an attainable goal.  

My shifts typically span 2.5 hours and coincide with the dining hall’s transition from dinner to late-night service or closing time. During these shifts, I actively engage with the staff, educating them on the purpose of the Leanpath system and guiding them through the waste categorization process using the tracker. To encourage consistent waste weighing, I personally handle almost every waste transaction during my shifts. Interacting with our diverse staff, while rewarding, also poses challenges, particularly with language barriers. However, finding creative communication strategies has been a fulfilling aspect of my role. 

The second aspect of my job involves meticulously auditing all transactions recorded throughout the week, rectifying any categorization errors that may have occurred. Once the data is accurate, I will compile a weekly report providing a statistical overview of the week’s waste, sharing observations, details of staff training sessions, and any recommendations for improvement.  

This work holds significant personal meaning for me, as I place great value on the importance of reducing food waste. Not only does it benefit the environment, but it also has positive implications for our economy and fosters empathy for the millions worldwide facing hunger. I am hopeful that our efforts will continue to expand within our campus dining halls and beyond, influencing other institutions across the United States.