We all know about recycling the basics like paper, plastic and glass. But what about recycling one of the most commonly discarded materials, food?
No, we’re not being glib. The state of Massachusetts has passed a law that will take effect in October of 2014 that requires large scale food processors and consumers to recycle food. If college cafeterias, food processing plants, hospitals and large restaurants generate more than a ton of excess food every week, they will be required to donate it or re-process that food.
It turns out that food makes up more than 25% of all waste and garbage, meaning it’s a heavy contributor to landfills. With the new law taking effect, food from large scale culinary operations will now be recycled at a biogas facility, where it can be converted to clean energy, or be composted.
We imagine this law will affect South Shore recyclingat places like South Shore Hospital or Wheaton College. No, the leftover food will not end up back on your plate again. But that food can be put to better use instead of tossed into a landfill where it creates methane gas that contributes to global warming. New York City enacted a similar law last year for restaurants, where thousands of locations are now making better use of leftover foods.