CalRecycle is set to award nearly $16 million to six composting and anaerobic digestion projects. | Jan Vaclav Herodes/Shutterstock

Garden State lawmakers passed a food-waste reduction bill, an industry group released tips on starting waste reduction programs, and California is set to award millions for composting and anaerobic digestion projects.

Legislation in the Garden State: New Jersey lawmakers have passed a bill that requires large food-waste generators to separate their organics and send them to dedicated organics processing facilities. A2371 applies to organizations that generate an average of 52 or more tons per year of food waste and are located within 25 miles of a food waste recycling facility. Generators could also meet the requirements by doing on-site composting or food scraps digestion. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection could waive the requirements if the total costs to send food scraps for recycling costs at least 10% higher than landfilling. The state Assembly passed A2371 on Feb. 24 in a vote of 49-28, and the state Senate passed it on March 5 with a 22-17 vote. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Phil Murphy. 

Food group’s view: A food industry group has released a report providing tips on how companies can implement food waste reduction projects. The report, titled “Messy but Worth It: Lessons Learned from Fighting Food Waste,” was released by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which is made up of the Consumer Brands Association, FMI-The Food Industry Association and the National Restaurant Association. To produce the guide the alliance interviewed food producers, grocers and foodservice operators to get their tips on launching food waste reduction programs. “The best way we can end the food waste crisis is by learning from the organizations, companies and people who have successfully done so, which is why this report is so critical for helping our collective industries combat it,” Meghan Stasz, vice president of packaging and sustainability at the Consumer Brands Association, stated in a press release.  

Processing grants awarded: The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is set to award $15.8 million to six composting and anaerobic digestion projects around the state. CalRecycle’s Materials Management and Local Assistance division is asking the department’s acting director to approve the following grants: $3 million to Pacific Recycling Solutions (doing business as Organics Solutions) for a composting project in Mendocino County, $3 million to SANCO Services for an anaerobic digestion project in San Diego County, $3 million to Northern Recycling for a composting project in Yolo County, $800,000 to the City of Manteca for an anaerobic digestion pre-processing project in San Joaquin County, $3 million to Butte County for a composting project, and $3 million to HZIU Kompogas for a composting and anaerobic digestion project in Los Angeles County. The grant money comes from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

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