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Smith Bill to Require Development of Strategy to Reduce Food Waste in Half by 2035 Advances

TRENTON – The Senate Environment and Energy Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Smith that would require each solid waste management district in New Jersey to develop and implement a strategy for reducing food waste by half by 2035 relative to the amount of food waste generated in the year of the bill’s effective date.

“Roughly 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply ends up in the trash, more than $400 billion annually,” said Senator Smith, who is also the Chair of the Environment and Energy Committee. “While some amount of food waste cannot be prevented, we can do more to reduce the amount produced here in New Jersey, and in so doing increase the amount food making its way to food banks and the sustainability of our lifestyles.”

The bill, S-2426, would require the development of the aforementioned strategy to reduce food waste as an addendum to the district’s solid waste management plan. Districts would have two years from the bill’s effective date to develop and implement this strategy.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would also be required to develop and publish on their website a list of measures that can be taken to achieve this reduction within 180 days. This list would help guide the development of the strategies to be adopted by solid waste management districts, and those strategies would be subject to the approval of the DEP.