Mass Change: Massachusetts Food Waste Ban Begins

Last week, Massachusetts took a major step toward becoming a state where no food waste hits the landfill. As of October 1, any entity producing more than 1 ton of food waste per week isn’t allowed to simply throw it away. That applies to restaurants, universities, hospitals and a variety of other operations.

If all goes well, there are plans to apply this food waste landfill ban to residential and other commercial generators, as Vermont has pledged to do by 2020.

There’s been a bit of confusion on two counts. Most importantly, the law doesn’t mean that these places are required to compost food. It means that they can’t throw food away. Ideally, that means more attention paid to reducing waste, donating excess food or sending it to livestock.

And Massachusetts is not the first state to enact such a partial ban. Connecticut and Vermont already have similar bans in action. Still, kudos to the Bay State for being an early adopter in what hopefully becomes a national trend.

And just to give a sense of the impact of the rule change, here are a few related stories:

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