As part of its state climate action plan, which was created by the Global Warming Solutions Act, Massachusetts has announced an upcoming ban (10.1.14) on the landfill disposal within the state of food waste from certain commercial operations.
As of October 1, 2014, any commercial operation that generates one ton or more of organic material per week (≥1 ton/week) can no longer send that waste to landfill but must instead utilize one of the following alternatives:
- Donate or re-purpose useable food.
- Send to a biogas facility to be converted to clean energy.
- Send to composting facility.
Commercial operations that may be subject to the ban include:
- Colleges and Universities.
- Convention centers
- Nursing homes
- Food service
- Food processors
If your business will be affected by this ban, I recommend you take advantage of assistance offered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
- MassDEP will conduct outreach, education, technical assistance, and infrastructure development for businesses covered by the ban, according to Kenneth Kimmell of MassDEP.
- Technical assistance and grants of up to $1 million for the new composting and biogas facilities anticipated to emerge in the state.
- Also, RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts is a program designed to help businesses increase their recycling efforts and to comply with the ban.
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If you find your operations subject to this ban it is likely that you are also subject to the regulations of the USDOT for the transportation of hazardous materials (you probably receive hazardous materials as product) and perhaps those of the MassDEP for generators of hazardous waste.
Not sure of your hazardous waste generator status?
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have about the management of hazardous waste or the transportation of hazardous materials in Massachusetts.