Can This New App Reduce Food Waste in Williamsburg?

You can buy about-to-be-tossed food straight from the YourLocal app and pick it up anytime before a participating shop closes.

yourlocal food waste

YourLocal, an app recently released in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, lets you know when your favorite participating local eatery is going to have food at the end of the day, offered at discount, that will go to waste if not purchased.

Editor’s note: We’re chronicling how tech is changing the way we eat and drink as we lead up to this fall’s Food Loves Tech. Our annual deep dive into appropriate food and ag technologies returns to Industry City on November 2–3, 2018—stay tuned for updates and learn more here.

A new app wants to make reducing food waste as simple as tapping your phone. Launched in Williamsburg and Greenpoint this past July, YourLocal will let you know when your favorite participating local eatery is going to have food at the end of the day that will go to waste if not purchased. You can buy the food straight from the app for a discounted price and pick it up anytime before the shop closes.

It’s a similar concept to the off-the menus meal app Food for All, but while Food for All is focused on restaurants creating and selling discounted entrées from excess food, YourLocal is a way for shops to sell already prepared items, such as baguettes, two for the price of one, or whatever the discount may be.

YourLocal is geared toward small independent restaurants. Places such as Marlow & Daughters, Polka Dot Cafe Greenpoint, Nick + Sons Bakery and more that on any given day have excess food but not enough to be able to donate it to City Harvest or one of New York City’s other food rescue organizations, most of which require businesses to be able to donate hundreds of pounds of a food a month.

yourlocal food waste

YourLocal is geared toward small independent shops and restaurants that on any given day have excess food but not enough to donate to NYC’s various food rescue organizations, which may require donations of hundreds of pounds of a food a month.

Read more: What Does Rescuing 59 Million Pounds of Wasted Food Look Like?

For the bakeries, juiceries, delicatessens and restaurants using the app, it’s fairly simple although requires they track inventory so they know what food to list. YourLocal takes a 20 percent cut of the revenue but also absorbs all credit card fees. For consumers there’s no fee to use the app and you can choose which restaurants you want to get notifications from.

More than a dozen shops and 2,000 users are already using the app, and YourLocal has plans to expand to Bushwick and Downtown Brooklyn. But while the app is new in the U.S., it’s been in existence for several years in Denmark and has more than 150,000 active users there.

Photos courtesy of YourLocal.

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Bridget is the digital strategy editor for Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn, Edible Long Island and Edible East End.