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SWANA has submitted comments on the first draft of the U.S. National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics. It expressed support in some areas, and some suggestions such as increasing home composting.
February 7, 2024
With more than one-third of the U.S. municipal waste stream comprised of food waste, the Draft National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics has been released to combat the issue.
Organizations in the waste and recycling industry are submitting responses to the first draft, which was released in December 2023. The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is the latest to send their responses, with support for the strategy and recommendations.
Amy Lestition Burke, SWANA CEO and executive director, said, “SWANA appreciates the opportunity to submit comments on this important new national strategy. We look forward to working with the federal agencies in advancing the goals to strengthen a robust nationwide organics recycling system.”
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) crafted the draft strategy, targeting food loss and waste by increasing the infrastructure for organic materials recycling.
SWANA responded, stressing the importance of extending federal financial incentives and support to scale composting and anaerobic digestion. They applauded the draft’s focus on reducing contamination in organic waste streams. The organization recommended partnering with the private sector to find solutions.
“Grants can be complemented by other economic incentives,” wrote Kristyn Oldendorf, SWANA director of Public Policy. “In some regions, low tipping fees may make it difficult for organics infrastructure to create a sustainable business model. Financial support for organics infrastructure may be necessary to support the establishment of this infrastructure in these cases. Additional support and financial incentives, such as tax credits, for developers of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and Landfill Gas to Energy (LFGTE) projects will also be key to growing organics recycling.”
In addition, SWANA suggested support for decentralized tactics such as home composting and organics for those in Tribal communities and communities with environmental justice concerns.
“For this strategic action to be successful, it will be important to provide resources for training and best practices, and educational materials for local government staff, elected officials, and communities,” Oldendorf wrote.
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