August 24, 2021 | Food Waste, Policies + Regulations

Food Donation And Food Scraps Recycling Regulations In NYS

Top: Recovered food donation event (top) and food scraps-manure codigestion facility (first 2 photos courtesy of Natural Upcycling). A food scraps and yard trimmings composting facility (bottom) in Onondagua County, NY.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the adoption of final regulations to implement New York’s Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law. The regulations implement the Law’s requirements for all designated food scrap generators to donate excess edible food and send food scraps to an organics recycler if one is available within 25 miles of the generator. A food scraps generator is defined as an entity that generates an annual average of two tons of food scraps or more per week at a single location. These entities include, but are not limited to, supermarkets, food service businesses such as restaurants, higher education institutions, hotels, food processors, correctional facilities, and sports or entertainment venues. New York City, hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, and elementary and secondary schools are exempt.

The regulations detail requirements to donate excess food and recycle food scraps if an organics facility is available, as well as annual reporting. They also include a temporary waiver provision for generators that demonstrate a need to be excluded from certain requirements, such as a lack of food scraps transporters nearby, and establish requirements for transporters, transfer facilities, landfills, and combustion facilities to ensure that once the food scraps are separated by the generator they are ultimately recycled and not disposed.


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