Smith, Bateman Bill to Separate and Recycle Food Waste Signed into Law

Trenton – Legislation requiring solid waste generators to separate and recycle food waste was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy. The law had been sponsored by Senate Environment and Energy Chair Senator Bob Smith and Senator Christopher Bateman.

“Food waste in this country and in New Jersey is a major problem and a serious waste of resources. However, we have the ability and the means to reverse this problematic issues. This law will encourage the construction of more food waste-to-energy facilities, which can be used as another way to generate power in New Jersey,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “This process will ensure a constant source of separated food waste at our sanitation facilities across the state.”

The new law, formally A-2371/S-865, will require certain generators of solid waste to separate and recycle food waste, and amend the definition of “Class I renewable energy.” A “Class I renewable energy” means electric energy produced from clean energy, such solar, win or hydropower.

Every large food waste generator, large institution, such as a university, restaurant, supermarket or prisons, which is located within 25 miles of an authorized food waste recycling facility will be required to separate its food waste from other solid waste at its source. These institutions will send food waste to its own recycling center. This only applies to an individual establishment or location that generates an average projected volume of 52 or more tons per year of food waste; so individual schools would not apply.

Finally, recycling facilities will also be required to employ minority and women applicants that reside near the facility.