Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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waste managment 94 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2018 wastewater treatment and transferring food waste or slurry to anaerobic digester (AD) systems. Fats and oils can be rendered/transferred to processors for biofuel and feed for farm animals. "As these bans seem to be proliferating, we're seeing more states interested in learning about all the tools out there," says Leib. Food businesses and operators can also use the Environ- mental Protection Agency's Excess Food Opportunities Map, an interactive map that identifies and displays facility-specific information about potential generators and recipients of excess food in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors. The tool also provides estimates of excess food by generator type. Insights on State Regulations Landfill bans are common in New England. Four states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont — have enforced diversion laws since 2014. In October 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) banned the disposal of commercial organic wastes by businesses and institutions that dispose of one ton or more of these materials per week in an effort to divert at least 35 percent of all statewide food waste from landfills by 2020. Currently, the EPA and MassDEP estimate that food waste accounts for more than 25 percent (more than 1 mil- lion tons) of the state's waste stream. There are currently about 30 permitted composting and anaerobic digestion operations accepting food materials in Massachusetts, with a combined permitted capacity to accept nearly 150,000 tons of organic material per year. However, this is just one meth- od of diversion. The state has supported the development of other methods, including funding composting facilities through targeted grants and loans, and working with haulers to determine more efficient means of collecting food waste from major generators. Connecticut has enforced a landfill ban similar to Massachusetts since 2014. It prohibits generators that pro- duce 104 or more tons per year (2 tons per week) of organic waste and located within 20 miles of permitted recycling facilities from sending waste to a landfill and instead requires them to ensure that the organic material is recycled. In January 2020, the threshold will lower to affect businesses in Connecticut that produce 52 tons per year. In Vermont that same year, all businesses and residents will fall under the ban. To put this in perspective, the RecyclingWorks Massachusetts' food waste estimation calculators show the following facilities produce about one ton of food waste per week: a college/university with 734 students living on cam- pus; a K-12 school with about 1,770 students; a hotel with 286 guests per day; an assisted living or hospital facility serving about 3,334 meals weekly; a corporate cafeteria serving about 3,200 meals weekly; and a correctional facility housing 286 inmates. On the restaurant side, full-service restaurants serving about 2,000 weekly meals and limited- service restaurants serving about 4,000 weekly meals also each produce about a ton of food waste per week. A food waste ban in Rhode Island went into effect in January 2016 and impacts businesses that produce more than two tons of organic waste. Alternatively, businesses are allowed to process the organic waste on-site or divert it for agricultural use, such as composting or animal feed. The ban states that "a waiver may be requested by the institution if the tipping fees of the compost or AD facility within the institution's fifteen- mile radius would cost the institution more than the price of having the waste taken by the RI Resource Recovery Corpora- tion at its going rate for non-contract commercial waste." Since July 2016, the New York City Commercial Organics Law took effect, impacting all foodservice establishments in hotels with 150 or more rooms as well as all foodservice vendors in arenas and stadiums with seating capacity of at least 15,000 people. The ban also impacts food manufactur- ers with a floor area of at least 25,000 square feet and food wholesalers with a floor area of at least 20,000 square feet. According to the NYC government, failure to comply with this law for any covered establishment could result in a fine of $250, up to $1,000 or more for subsequent violations. California has required businesses to recycle their organic waste, depending on volume, since April 2016. "This law phases in the mandatory recycling of commercial organics over time, while also offering an exemption process for rural counties," the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) said in a statement. "In particular, the minimum threshold of organic waste generation by businesses decreases over time, which means an increasingly greater proportion of the commercial sector will be required to comply." The initial law implemented in April 2016 affected businesses that generate eight cubic yards of organic waste per week. As of January 2017, this law now affects produc- ers of four cubic yards of organic waste per week. On Jan. 1, 2019, businesses that generate four cubic yards or more of commercial solid waste per week will need to arrange for organic waste recycling services. After the receipt of the 2019 annual reports, CalRecycle will conduct a formal review of all jurisdictions. In 2020, if CalRe- cycle determines that the statewide disposal of organic waste has not been reduced by 50 percent from the baseline 2014 levels, the organic recycling requirements on businesses will expand to cover businesses that generate two cubic yards or more of com- mercial solid waste per week. Additionally, certain exemptions may no longer be available if this target is not met.

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