Food waste accounts for 22% of waste sent to methane-emitting landfills and toxic-pollution spewing incinerators. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than C02 and incinerators as energy producers are dirtier than coal.
Fortunately, this problem has a solution. Large generators of food waste produce most of the organic waste in the state – facilities that generate over 1 ton of food waste a week contribute over half of Maryland’s organic waste. With HB264, these facilities, like cafeterias and grocery stores, will have a drastic impact on lowering our carbon emissions by source-separating their food residuals and diverting them out of landfills and incinerators by pursuing specific zero waste strategies: sending food residuals to a compost or anaerobic digestion facility, reducing waste, donating servable food, managing residuals in a system installed onsite, or diverting food waste for agricultural purposes.
When similar legislation passed in Vermont, food donation increased by at least 30%, taking usable food and getting it into the hands of food banks and hungry people.
On January 27, the House Environment and Transportation Committee of the Maryland General Assembly is holding a hearing on House Bill 264 “Solid Waste Management--Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion--Food Residuals” (“Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion Legislation”).
Please tell your elected officials to support the Organics Recycling and Waste legislation.