Diversion of food waste from solid waste is a key goal of the Lowell Green Restaurant Program. There are several ways that this goal can be met:
Donate usable food to food banks or repurposed.
Divert food waste to Anaerobic Digestion: Biogas generated by anaerobic digestion is clean energy fuel, which can be used to generate electricity, heat, or fuel natural gas vehicles.
Compost or donate to animal–feed operations: composting stabilizes waste, reduces volume and results in a nutrient rich humus soil amendment.
Effective October 1, 2014, Food Establishments in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that dispose of at least one ton of organic material per week will be required to divert food waste to energy-generating and composting facilities and reduce the Commonwealth’s solid waste stream. Restaurants with the equivalent of 70 full time employees exceed the threshold. However, smaller restaurants are encouraged to participate voluntarily.
Food materials and organics make up 25 percent of the current waste stream, making the disposal ban an important component of the Commonwealth’s strategy to reduce waste disposal. The ban will help the Commonwealth reach its goals to reduce the waste stream by 30 percent by 2020 and greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Additional information can be found at the following links:
Based on EEA news release: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2014/food-waste-disposal.html