Massachusetts to Require Composting By Large Food Handlers

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As recently reported in a Sustainable Cities Network article, Massachusetts will be implementing a mandatory composting program for all large food handlers in the state this fall. From the article:

The state is now taking steps to ban commercial food waste in landfills, with a law that takes effect on Oct. 1. The law will require “any entity that disposes of at least one ton of organic material weekly to donate or re-purpose the useable food. The remaining food waste must be sent to an anaerobic digestion facility or a composter,” according to a press release from the Massachusetts Office of Environmental Affairs.

Anaerobic digestion is a process that converts food waste into energy. The disposal ban will affect about 1,700 businesses and institutions, including supermarkets, colleges, hotels, hospitals and restaurants.

A number of communities in Massachusetts already have voluntary curbside composting for households and this approach is being piloted in other communities.

The article also highlights the benefits of composting.

Composting helps protect the environment and delivers rich rewards, state officials said, reducing landfill waste and harmful greenhouse gas emissions. It also saves on disposal costs, promotes economic development in the private sector and produces compost soil that’s great for gardening.