State energy and environmental affairs officials proposed Wednesday a ban on commercial food waste at facilities that dispose of at least one ton of organic waste per week.
The proposed band, which would take effect next July, would require the food waste to be shipped to an animal feed operation or an anaerobic digestion facility that converts the waste to energy. Residential food waste is not part of the ban.
About $3 million in low-interest loans has been made available by the state for private companies to build the facilities.
"Many grocery stores and environmentally conscious businesses across the state currently divert their food waste, saving money in the process," said state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. "Diverting food waste to AD facilities creates value by reducing the waste stream, tapping into the energy within food wastes, reducing greenhouse gases, and producing a byproduct that can be resold as fertilizer or animal bedding."
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