The state’s commercial food waste disposal ban kicked in this week and by year’s end the Charlestown Maritime Center will begin producing fuel from compost for the Massachusetts Water Resources Agency’s (MWRA) wastewater treatment plant at Deer Island in Winthrop.
The ban will divert food waste to energy-generating and composting facilities and reduce the Commonwealth’s waste stream.
“We are committed to protecting our natural resources and creating jobs as the Commonwealth’s clean energy economy grows,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan. “The disposal ban is critical to achieving our aggressive waste disposal reduction goals and it is in line with our commitment to increase clean energy production.”
The ban, regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will require any entity that disposes of at least one ton of organic material per week to donate or re-purpose the useable food. Any remaining food waste will be shipped to anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities like the one in Deer Island from facilities like Charlestown, where it will be converted to clean energy, or sent to composting and animal-feed operations.
Turning food into fuel here in Charlestown is part of a pilot program that will kick in later this year through grant money.