“This project began when it was noticed that people in West Coast cities and beyond were leaving their leftovers on top of (or next to) garbage cans when they couldn’t find someone to give them to. A name was needed to in order to talk about this behaviour. This is when replate was born.

Won’t the food go bad and make people sick?
People are eating food out of the trash. They are digging into public trash cans, pulling out old, dirty food, and eating it. Surely food that’s on top of the trash, and not mixed in with the muck, is less likely to make a person ill. Surely food that’s in plain sight and easily accessible will be picked up sooner (and thus in a fresher state) than food that’s hidden in the trash.

Incompatible trash cans.
Apparently, New York City trash cans don’t have hoods or ledges, so there’s no horizontal surface on which to replate. This isn’t as big a problem as some have suggested. If you want to give someone the food you’re not going to eat, simply put it next to the trash can, or on a newspaper dispenser.

If replating your leftovers counts as activism, then the bar for activism is set way too low.
Maybe that’s true, but though the first steps of activism (however you define it) are small ones, they form the foundation for the giant leaps to come. And replate is just the beginning of a conversation that we hope will inspire greater action.


Use the word in any conversation about leftovers.

Write about it anywhere people will read about it.

Join the Facebook group.

Start a replate movement in your city. Take pictures of replated trash cans – share them on the Facebook page.

Submit this webpage to your favorite social bookmarking sites”.


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