The New York State Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law encourages food donations and composting or reuse of organic waste – also known as food scraps. This law, which went into effect on January 1, 2022, has had a major impact on the way we think about food waste, as well as on businesses who need to dispose of their food scraps. Many businesses have had to come up with efficient and effective solutions for disposing of their food scraps and complying with this new law, such as the implementation of aerobic digester machines.
In this article, we’ll review what the New York food scrap law requires, and how businesses can comply easily and affordably.
What Does the NY Food Scrap Law Require?
The New York State Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law was passed in 2018 (and went into effect in January 2022) with the intention of reducing the amount of food waste in landfills. It does this by encouraging organizations to donate edible food that would otherwise be wasted, and by requiring larger businesses to separate their organic materials for composting or recycling.
This law applies to large businesses (defined as those generating 2 tons or more of wasted food per week) such as restaurants, universities, and other institutions that create large amounts of organic waste. The law does not apply to hospitals, nursing homes, K-12 schools, or farms.
Under the law, these businesses must donate all excess edible food, and recycle all remaining food scraps if they’re within 25 miles of an “organics recycler” (such as a composting facility).
Eligible businesses that don’t comply won’t get away scot-free, either. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will monitor compliance with the new law and penalize those who do not comply.
How Are Businesses Affected?
Businesses in New York State must find new ways to deal with their food waste. While the State offers assistance to businesses for setting up a donation program through FeedingNYS, there is less direct support available to businesses for dealing with their food scraps. Additionally, launching a food scraps management program, especially one in which you need to transport your waste to another site, can become quite costly, quite quickly.
The New York food scrap law presents both a challenge and an opportunity for businesses—a challenge because they now need to find ways to efficiently manage their organic waste; an opportunity because they can choose from several solutions that will help them meet the requirements of the law while reducing operating costs at the same time. One such solution is using an aerobic digester, which can be installed on site, and breaks down organic waste within 24 hours.
How Can Aerobic Digester Machines Help Businesses Comply With the Law?
Aerobic digesters are an effective way for businesses to comply with the New York State Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law.
How do they work? Aerobic digesters decompose food waste quickly with the help of natural microbes that break down food waste. Simply add food waste to your on-site machine and let the microbes do the work! The only byproduct is gray water, which can be discharged to your city’s sewage system. Not only do these machines help your food waste management, but they also divert greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food that ends up in landfill.
In addition to being environmentally-friendly, aerobic digesters are much easier to install than other disposal systems such as incinerators. Furthermore, they require minimal maintenance once installed and can handle large volumes of organic waste quickly and efficiently—perfect for busy businesses who have limited time to devote to managing their waste streams. Ultimately, using an aerobic digester machine is a win-win situation for both businesses looking to comply with this new law while still doing what’s best for our environment.
Benefits of Aerobic Digesters Beyond Compliance
In addition to helping businesses comply with the New York State Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law, aerobic digesters offer many additional benefits. One benefit is that they help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rotting organic material in landfills; another is that they reduce odors associated with decaying organic material because they process it faster than traditional methods such as composting or landfill disposal.
The New York Food Scrap Law: The Way of the Future?
The New York State Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law is an important step towards reducing our reliance on landfills for disposing of food scraps. It has also helped many families in need; as of October 2022, 1.6 million pounds of food had been donated to hungry New Yorkers as a result of the law.
As other states like California and Vermont pass their own food scrap laws, businesses across the country will need to find efficient ways to comply with these laws while reducing their operating costs and environmental impacts. For these businesses, aerobic digester machines provide a great solution. Not only do they help companies meet their legal obligations, but also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with rotting organic material in landfills – all without needing too much maintenance once installed.
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New York State Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law – nysenate.gov
California Food Scraps Law – NPR.org
Vermont Food Scraps Law – vermontpublic.org
Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law Statistics – dec.ny.gov
FeedingNYS – feedingnys.org