Sustainability: Food Waste & Recycling

By TriMark R.W. Smith

California Food Waste Recycling and New Laws

With over 36 million tons of food waste reaching landfills each year in the United States, many states are developing food waste solutions to reduce costs. Following other states, California is enacting new laws to accelerate organic recycling and to close the food waste loop. Several technologies are also beginning to emerge to address these needs including foodservice equipment.

Here are key insights on food waste and recycling:

  • Many states and municipalities are introducing food waste recycling facilities as a means to reduce the volume of trash handled annually.
  • AB1826 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014 and begins phasing into effect April 1, 2016.
  • Venues such as restaurants, supermarkets, hotels, universities, hospitals, and food processors are required to separate food scraps and trimmings and arrange for organic recycling.
  • The law requires commercial generators of food waste to have it composted, or transformed to energy via anaerobic digestion.
  • A goal of the legislation is to keep organic waste out of landfills and return it to the soil; helping the environment by reducing methane emissions in landfills.
  • Several technologies and solutions are emerging to address organic recycling needs and to create sustainable culinary environments.
  • Equipment is coming to market to support foodservice establishments such as pulpers, food digesters and dehydrators.
  • From a business perspective, there can be an attractive ROI in reduced waste as well as goodwill gained by completing the circle (back to the farms with organic compost for the grower).
  • Foodservice businesses that are committed to operating ‘green’ are maximizing their food waste recycling program and seeing positive, cost-saving results.
  • To get started, seek sound advice from a firm versed in all available options in order to make the best decision for your operation.
  • Information on the California law is available here.

To discuss how California’s new law impacts your business or to inquire on our services, please contact Drew Golley, Director of Business Development at 714-795-6759 or email dgolley@rwsmithco.com .

Additional recycling and food waste resources:

CalRecycle: Organic Materials Management
http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/

CalRecycle: Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling
http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/recycle/commercial/organics/

California Organic Recycling Council
http://caorganicsrecycling.org/

sustainablefoodservice.com
http://www.sustainablefoodservice.com/cat/composting.htm

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