Massachusetts may ban large institutions from throwing food waste in the trash
Posted by David Brooks | Friday, May 4, 2012
In what might be considered a far-sighted move or the heavy hand of government, depending on your point of view (I vote for the former), Massachusetts may ban places that serve lots of food like restaurants, universities and hospitals from throwing food waste into the trash. From the Globe article:
Their immediate goal is to divert a third of the nearly 1.4 million tons of organic waste produced every year in Massachusetts from landfills by the end of the decade. Instead, it would go to composting sites and a new generation of specially designed plants that convert waste into energy, heat, and fertilizer.
Sate officials envision a new, parallel waste system that would have its own transportation network to deliver the organic waste - which includes refuse such as weeds and manure - to a host of so-called anaerobic digesters. Those plants, one of which already exists on a farm in Rutland, convert methane from degraded food into power that feeds into the region’s electrical grid. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, is contained by the plants.
My house is ahead of the curve here. We have composted all our food waste for two decades - not out of desire for cheap compost or to "save the Earth" but because rotting food stinks up the Subaru when haulting trash cans to the dump each week. It's easier just to heave it all into a pile out behind the barn, wait a couple of years, then toss the result into flower beds.
Of course, I have the space to maintain a low-tech compost pile; most people don't.