Since 2014, when the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) enacted the Commercial Food Material Disposal Ban, businesses and institutions across the state have increasingly started diverting food waste. While food waste diversion leads to significant environmental benefits, it also has potential to provide cost savings for businesses, and opens up opportunities to address customer and employee requests for more sustainable practices.
RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) collects annual data from organics haulers on the number of commercial entities in Massachusetts contracting for organics hauling services. Despite widespread temporary business closures and an overall shift in waste generation from the commercial to the residential sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, the significantly increasing number of businesses and institutions contracting for organics hauling at the end of 2020 remained steady, with only a 1.5% decrease compared to 2019. Since 2014, the number of commercial entities contracting for organics has increased by 137%.
The MassDEP offers several useful resources to help businesses begin food waste diversion programs. The Sites Accepting Diverted Food Material page provides a map of compost sites and anaerobic digesters across the state. Additionally, RecyclingWorks maintains a list of Sites Accepting Packaged Food Material for Depackaging and Hauler Contracting Guidance.
RecyclingWorks provides no-cost assistance to businesses and institutions to help maximize food waste diversion opportunities. Our website includes a number of tools to help your organization comply with the commercial organics waste ban, including guidance on managing and diverting food waste and a Find-a-Recycler tool that allows users to search for local haulers and processors. To speak with an expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.