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Commercial Waste

Food Waste Radius Provisions

Radius Provisions in Food Waste Disposal Laws

Among the nine U.S. states that have passed commercial food waste disposal legislation, five include radius provisions. Businesses that generate wasted food are subject only if there is a food waste processing facility within a designated distance—say, 15 or 20 miles.

Interpreting These Laws

Naturally, the default interpretation of these radius provisions is that covered entities be within the designated mileage of an authorized facility in their state. But nothing in these laws excludes out-of-state facilities. In fact, while working with Connecticut and Rhode Island, the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) realized that proactively including the catchments of facilities in border states can give food waste policies a boost as in-state infrastructure catches up with the demand.

Rhode Island’s ban

For example, when Rhode Island’s ban went into effect in 2016, the state had one authorized composting facility: Earth Care Farm in Charlestown. For a state that is just 37 miles wide and 48 miles long, this left a remarkable portion in “exempt” territory.

Crossing State Lines: Getting the Most Out of Radius Provisions in Food Waste Disposal Laws

The “Crossing State Lines” document is progressive in its take on food waste laws. It illustrates how Connecticut and Rhode Island have made a bigger environmental mark by using composting sites across state lines. This method not only boosts regional teamwork but also offers a model for others to follow. Furthermore, the document features Rhode Island’s efforts as a key example, highlighting the significant advantages of working across borders. Such policies lead to more recycling and help the organic waste industry grow, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between states to achieve environmental goals.

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