- The California assembly has passed a bill requiring local governments to plan for the building of sufficient composting infrastructure to process organic waste. The bill, which now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, would force local governments, beginning Aug. 1, 2017, to assess the amount of organic waste that will be generated during a 15-year period. They would be required to identify locations for new or expanded organic waste recycling facilities.
- The state last year passed legislation requiring businesses to separate their organic waste, and for local governments to find new uses for yard trimmings that had been previously sent to landfills. "It is clear that we have much better uses for our food scraps and yard trimmings than to let them rot in landfills and contribute to climate change," said Nick Lapis, legislative coordinator for Californians Against Waste.
- The state Air Resources Board has set a goal of "effectively eliminating disposal of organic waste at landfills" by 2025 to prevent landfill methane emissions.
More than 36 million tons of food waste are being disposed of each year in the U.S., according to Forbes. From New Jersey to Boston to Oregon, efforts are being made to keep food scraps out of landfills.
At the government level, Orlando, FL is expanding its commercial food waste collection program, previously a pilot, to all area businesses, Waste 360 reported. "We began offering the program because we have a goal of 50% waste diversion by 2018, and zero waste by 2040," says Ian Jurgensen, sustainability project manager for the city.
If it passes, California's initiative would take food waste collection to a whole new level and could be a model for other states.