The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently issued a report which found that the state’s commercial food waste ban has created more than 900 jobs and stimulated $175 million in economic activity during its first two years.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food scrap accounts for 21.6 percent of all trash, the most of any item in the country's waste stream.
A new advocacy group is trying an innovative solution to address an age-old problem: trash.
CHARLESTOWN, R.I. — Despite rumors circulating in the state's composting circles, Earth Care Farm, Rhode Island's only large-scale composting operation, isn't closing. But the decades-old operation is undergoing some changes.
JOHNSTON, R.I. — Cardboard and compostables are two of the most common categories of waste filling up Rhode Island's Central Landfill, according to a recently published study by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation. The study aimed to identify materials that could be diverted from the landfill, presently or in the future, to recycling facilities or for reuse.
JOHNSTON, R.I. — Rhode Island’s first two anaerobic digesters were expected to be up and running by now, based on timelines provided by the owners of each project.
Last year Rhode Island state law required electronics manufacturers to pay for every state resident to recycle 5 pounds of electronic waste (e-waste). It turned out, Rhode Islanders had more computers, monitors and TVs lurking in their closets and basements than the people who set the 5-pound target expected.
Since switching to single-stream recycling in June 2012, Rhode Island’s recycling rate has risen less than 2 percent and remains stubbornly below 25 percent. During that same period, the market for sorted and baled recyclables, the end product of the statewide recycling program, has bottomed out.
Under current Rhode Island regulations, any composting operation larger than a backyard pile must be registered with the state Department of Environmental Management. Because the regulations don’t factor in a compost operation’s size, are extremely stringent, and, in many cases, are wildly inappropriate for smaller operations, they effectively prohibit small- and medium-sized compost operations from opening in the state.
The $32 a ton it costs Rhode Island municipalities to tip garbage into the Central Landfill in Johnston is artificially low. For each ton of municipal waste buried, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation loses $11.
The state of Massachusetts recently awarded $3.57 million in grants to 80 municipalities, regional groups and nonprofits to increase the diversion, reuse, composting and recycling of materials.
PROVIDENCE — The more than 1,000 people who converged on the city's waterfront Sept. 20 for the inaugural Ocean State Oyster Festival were probably so focused on slurping down briny bivalves that they may not have paid much heed to the yellow compost bins at the dozen or so waste stations scattered throughout the festival venue. That is, until they went to discard their compostable trays and oyster shells.
JOHNSTON, R.I. — Food-service and rigid-packaging polystyrene foam, commonly known as Styrofoam, is now recyclable in Rhode Island. This material still isn’t accepted in curbside recycling bins, but is recycled when properly sorted and driven to the Central Landfill’s small-vehicle disposal area.
The Harvard Law and Policy Clinic recently posted three legal facts sheets regarding food donation in Massachusetts. The topics included date labeling, tax incentives and liability protections.