In an effort to curb commercial food waste, five years ago, Massachusetts banned universities, hospitals and large businesses from sending discarded food to landfill. Now, critics are saying state regulators have failed to enforce those restrictions, “leading to widespread lack of compliance,” according to The Boston Globe.
According to the report, the ban, which applies to institutions that produce more than a ton of food waste a week, sought to reduce the amount of food waste sent to incinerators and landfills. It was also considered a major step to increase recycling and curb emissions. But companies have been sidestepping the ban.
Last month, as part of the Commonwealth’s commitment to help increase the diversion, reuse and recycling of materials, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that during calendar year 2018, the agency issued 119 notices of non-compliance and eight waste ban orders with penalties to entities found violating the rules.
These actions, which build upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s efforts to promote the environmental benefits of recycling, were for violations involving the improper disposal of significant amounts of recyclable materials and cover a wide spectrum of public and private institutions, including the food and retail sectors, hospitality sector and educational and medical facilities.
The Boston Globe has more details:
Five years ago, Massachusetts launched the nation’s most ambitious effort to curb commercial food waste, banning universities, hospitals, and large businesses from sending discarded food to landfills.
But critics like John Hanselman, who built a business based on the ban, say that state regulators have failed to enforce the restrictions, leading to a widespread lack of compliance.
Hanselman’s company invested $70 million to build five high-tech plants to convert food waste — a significant source of carbon emissions — into electricity, heat, and fertilizer. But now his company is scrounging to find a sufficient amount of waste for the plants.