Mass. to make big food wasters lose the landfill

A new ban, starting Oct. 1, required all institutions that produce more than a ton of food waste per week to find other ways to discard food besides landfills.

WASHINGTON—Sure, there's plenty you can do with leftovers: foist them on your office mates or turn them into casserole.

But if you're a big food waste generator like a hospital or a supermarket, your scraps usually go to the landfill to rot.

In Massachusetts, that's about to change, as the state prepares to implement the most ambitious commercial food waste ban in the U.S.

The ban, which will commence Oct. 1, applies to institutions that produce more than a ton of food waste a week. Those 1,700 some-odd supermarkets, schools, hospitals and food producers will no longer be able to send their discarded food to the landfill. Instead, they they'll have to donate the useable food and ship the rest to a composting facility, a plant that turns the scraps into energy or a farm that can use it as animal food.

"It's a material that we've historically wasted. And now we're putting in place the rules and regulations that should allow this resource to be utilized in lots of different kinds of ways," David Cash, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, tells The Salt.

What's driving this policy? Landfills aren't very environmentally or financially attractive anymore. They generate greenhouse gases, and space is getting increasingly limited – and costly — as they start to reach capacity.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
vegetables with dip foodservice healthy menu

From Mrs. Dash Foodservice.

There was a time when healthy food meant counting calories, omitting carbs, giving up sugar and going fat-free—in other words, it was all about deprivation.

But not anymore. Today’s definition of healthy means an overall focus on nutrition and wellness that doesn’t mean giving up enjoyment. It’s all about balance: good fats, healthy carbs, better sweeteners, wholesome ingredients and satisfying flavor enhancements. It means food that customers can feel good about, at the same time that they’re enjoying the dining experience.

According to...

Industry News & Opinion

Aramark today announced a partnership with celebrity chef and TV personality Cat Cora that will put a new concept from the Top Chef star in Aramark’s North American business-and-industry accounts.

The new fast-casual concept, called Olilo by Cat Cora, promises a healthy, made-your-way menu, according to the global foodservice provider.

“By bringing together Chef Cora's award-winning brand and healthy cooking advocacy and Aramark's commitment to enriching and nourishing the lives of the thousands of consumers we serve every day, we have an opportunity to elevate the on-site...

Industry News & Opinion

Members of Congress and several advocacy groups gathered on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to highlight the potential loss of millions in state funding because of a Child Nutrition Reauthorization block grant introduced last month, and to call upon legislators to squash the bill.

The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 houses a statute that would provide three unannounced pilot states with block grant funding. Participating states would be exempt from federal nutrition regulations and would no longer qualify for the 6-cent reimbursement per lunch garnered by certified...

Ideas and Innovation
borscht bowl

We do a monthly Meal In The Life, where residents of different cultures serve as our ambassadors and help coordinate the program. A couple of months ago it was Russia. We had a Russian-themed menu and a resident ambassador who got to wear a button and talk about the culture. We do an hors d’oeuvres session and a food demo, followed by a full-blown meal the next day in our dining room. The servers wear something special, and we have special music.

FSD Resources