One Year Into The Massachusetts Organics Landfill Ban
(from MassDEP announcements)
Massachusetts is looking back on its first year of the landfill ban on organics. MassDEP has done a fine job advancing the program, as recognized by U. S. EPA's "Food Recovery Challenge."
John Fischer and others have compiled initial draft data on food waste diversion from disposal in 2014. This includes:
•13 facilities that achieved an upfront reduction in food waste of about 300 tons on an annual basis
• Donation of more than 25,000 tons of food to food banks and food rescue organizations to feed the hungry
• Diversion of more than 130,000 tons of food material to a combination of animal feed, compost operations, and anaerobic digestion facilities. This does not include complete reporting from all Massachusetts operations, nor does it include materials that are sent to operations in other states.
• Management of approximately 70,000 tons of materials through on-site systems that, for the most part, discharge that material into the wastewater system.
Moving forward, MassDEP is continuing to focus on technical assistance and information resources to help facilities comply with the commercial organics waste disposal ban. At the same time, MassDEP is placing increased emphasis on:
• Increasing food donation where safe and practical.
• Providing assistance to compost operations that compost food materials.
• Fostering the growth of infrastructure for packaged food materials.
As we continue to advance this work in Massachusetts, food waste reduction and diversion is gaining increased momentum both regionally in the Northeast as well as nationally.