Massachusetts implements food waste disposal ban

New regulations in the State of Massachusetts will prohibit some landfilling and incineration of food waste effective October 1st of this year. The rules will apply to supermarkets, colleges, universities, hotels, convention centres, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and food service and processing companies that dispose of more than one ton of organic material per week. Organizations will be required to donate or re-purpose an usable food and to send the inedible waste to animal feed, composting, or anaerobic digestion.  The Mass Department of Environmental Protection will enforce the rule which will not apply to households. The regulations appear to make Massachusetts the first state or province in North America to implement a disposal ban on food waste.

The purpose of the ban is:

  • to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Food waste and organics make up 20-25 percent of the current waste stream going to landfills and incinerators.
  • to give impetus to production of biogas from anaerobic digestion facilities in the state. Also to give impetus to the construction of AD facilities and the resulting economic spin-offs.
  • to reduce the State’s contribution to climate change. Food waste is one of the largest sources of high greenhouse gas potential methane from landfills.

For announcement of the new rules visit http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2014/food-waste-disposal.html . A link on that page connects to the regulations.

 

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