Massachusetts announces food waste disposal ban

Law to take effect next July would impact schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has proposed a ban on the disposal of commercial food waste, to take effect by July 1, 2014, state Energy and Environmental Affairs officials have announced.

The ban would require any businesses, such as large restaurants and supermarkets, as well as institutional foodservice programs, that dump a minimum of one ton per week of organic waste to dispose of it in a different way, either by donating or repurposing the food. The excess would be sent to an anaerobic digester or a composting plant, or become animal feed.