What Your Organization Needs to Know

A MassDEP ban on disposal of commercial organic wastes by businesses and institutions that dispose of one ton or more of these materials per week took effect on October 1, 2014. By diverting food wastes from disposal to composting, conversion, recycling or reuse, you can not only cut waste management costs, but potentially save money on purchasing, too. Many businesses and institutions were enjoying these benefits even before the ban was implemented. 


Compliance Assistance from RecyclingWorks

There is an array of options available to your organization for reducing food waste and diverting it from disposal. RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts can help you take the next step in starting or improving an organics diversion program. Follow these links to learn how you can:

There are also a number of on-site and off-site options for processing food wastes. These include composting, dehydration, pulping, anaerobic digestion, rendering for fats and oils, and use as feed for farm animals.

Food Waste Generation & Diversion

Food Waste Generators in Massachusetts  pdf format of Data: Food Waste Generators in Massachusetts
file size 1MB xls format of                             Data: Food Waste Generators in Massachusetts                file size 1MB
2011 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data update of a 2002 study commissioned by MassDEP that identified major generators of food waste in Massachusetts, including food processors, wholesalers, grocery stores, institutional food service providers and large restaurants.

Massachusetts Food Waste Generator Map  pdf format of Map: Food Waste Generators in Massachusetts
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Shows the geographic distribution of the large food waste generators identified in the report above.

Map & List of Massachusetts Sites Accepting Diverted Food Waste Material, October 2016  pdf format of Map & List of Sites Accepting Diverted Food Waste
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These facilities can help businesses and institutions comply with the ban on disposal of commercial organics by accepting their food wastes. 

Food Waste Composting Fact Sheet, July 2015  pdf format of Food Waste Composting Fact Sheet
doc format of                             Food Waste Composting Fact Sheet
Provides information on how much food waste is generated and diverted from disposal in Massachusetts, what the state is doing to promote food waste composting, what MassDEP permits and approvals are needed by composting facilities, and how to learn more.

Case Studies & Success Stories

Video - A Success Story: The Massachusetts Commercial Organics Waste Ban
Learn about the environmental and economic benefits of the ban on large business and institutional food waste disposal.

Boston Public Market Leftover Food Donation & Composting Program
MassLive article on Public Market partnerships with food rescue organizations and a composting cooperative.

Food is Not Trash: Redefining Wellesley's Waste Culture by Composting  pdf format of Food is Not Trash: Redefining Wellesley's Waste Culture
file size 3MB
Report prepared by Wellesley College Environmental Studies students in Spring 2013.

Regulations & Guidance

310 CMR 19.000: Final Commercial Organic Material Waste Ban Amendments, January 2014  pdf format of 310 CMR 19.000: Organics Waste Ban Amendments
doc format of                             wbreg14.doc
These regulations ban disposal of food and other organic wastes from businesses and institutions that dispose of more than one ton of these materials per week.

Commercial Organic Materials Waste Ban Guidance for Businesses, Institutions & Haulers, June 2014  pdf format of Commercial Organic Materials Waste Ban Guidance
doc format of                             orgguid.doc
Compliance information for businesses and institutions that dispose of one ton or more of organic material per week, and their waste management providers.

Waste Ban Guidance for Operators of Solid Waste Facilities, April 2014  pdf format of Waste Ban Guidance for Solid Waste Facility Operators
doc format of                             Waste Ban Guidance for Solid Waste Facility Operators
Includes updated information on compliance with the commercial food waste disposal ban.

Reducing Food Waste: A How to Guide for Businesses & Institutions, June 2013  pdf format of Reducing Food Waste: A How to Guide
doc format of                             Reducing Food Waste: A How to Guide
Simple steps your organization can take to reduce food waste and save money.

Trimming the Fat: Cutting Costs by Reducing Food Waste
Practical tips for restaurants, supermarkets, commercial food processors and other organizations.

Reports, Plans & Data

Massachusetts Organics Study & Action Plan, January 2016  pdf format of Massachusetts Organics Study & Action Plan
doc format of                             Massachusetts Organics Study & Action Plan
Outlines initiatives for diverting at least 35 percent of all food waste from disposal statewide by 2020. 

Summary Analysis: Massachusetts Commercial / Institutional Food Waste Generation Data  pdf format of Summary Analysis: Massachusetts Food Waste Generation
xls format of                             Summary Analysis: Massachusetts Food Waste Generation
2011 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) update of a 2002 study commissioned by MassDEP.

Study: Identification, Characterization & Mapping of Food Waste & Food Waste Generators in Massachusetts, September 2002  pdf format of Massachusetts Food Waste & Generators Study
doc format of                             Massachusetts Food Waste & Generators Study
Report on the original Draper/Lennon Inc. study, performed for MassDEP.

Report: On-Site Systems for Processing Food Waste, April 2013  pdf format of On-Site Systems for Processing Food Waste
file size 1MB doc format of                             On-Site Systems for Processing Food Waste                file size 1MB
Extensive report submitted to MassDEP by Northeastern University students.

Related Topics

Anaerobic Digestion & Organics Diversion
MassDEP and state energy agencies are promoting the diversion of organic materials from disposal facilities to anaerobic digesters that generate renewable biogas.

Green Your Bottom Line in Food & Beverage Processing
From the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.

Massachusetts Waste Disposal Bans
Commercial food waste is one of a number of easy-to-recycle materials that are banned from disposal.

Save The Food
Americans throw too much food away. It is a waste and contributes to climate change. This national campaign emphasizes using up leftovers to help the environment. 

Supermarket Recycling in Massachusetts
Recycling and composting organics and other waste materials is good for both the environment and a grocery store's bottom line.

U.S. EPA Food Recovery Challenge
Organizations participating in this national program pledge to improve their sustainable food management practices.