Government works to reduce food waste

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 21: A box of food scraps that will be composted sits at the Norcal Waste Systems transfer station April 21, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Norcal Waste Systems is collecting food scraps from nearly 2,000 restaurants in San Francisco and thousands of single-family homes and are turning the scraps to make high quality, nutrient rich compost that gets sold back to Bay Area farmers. The garbage company has turned 105,000 tons of fodd scraps into 20,000 tons of compost. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

WASHINGTON Americans throw away more than a third of what they buy -- that's almost $400 a year per person, or more than an average month's worth of groceries.

In 2010, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food from U.S. retailers, restaurants, and homes was tossed. Food waste makes up most of the waste in landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Working with the nation's largest retailers and food companies, the Agriculture Department and the EPA said Tuesday that they are going to try and bring those numbers down.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department will work with industry to increase donations of edible food, make it easier for companies to donate misbranded meat and poultry and test out a meat-composting program.