Rethink Food Waste NY provides food waste solutions for New York businesses, municipalities, organic recyclers, food relief organizations, and others.
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With the passage of New York’s state-wide food waste ban (effective January 2022), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC) is guiding the implementation process. NY DEC and New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) are working together to assist businesses and service providers with wasted food diversion. The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) has partnered with NYSP2I to share best practices and resources from its experience in other states. CET also hosted the Donating Food in Western New York: Strategies for Businesses with Surplus Food and Reducing Food Waste in New York: Strategies to Prevent, Donate, and Divert Waste virtual workshops to share tips and best practices for addressing wasted food. To learn more or to request assistance, contact CET today at 866-306-0911 or e-mail RethinkFoodWasteNY@CETonline.org.
Helpful New York Wasted Food Resources
- Benefit-Cost Analysis of Potential Food Waste Diversion Legislation Report
- New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) released a report analyzing the potential benefits of requiring facilities that are generating at least two tons of food waste per week, and located outside of New York City and within 50 miles of a food waste management facility, to donate their edible food or send food scraps to organic processing facilities. The report depicts an anticipated benefit of up to $22 million annually and a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (NYSAR3)
- This state-wide organization includes an Organics Council with five working groups focused on keeping food scraps and yard waste out of landfills. The council includes working groups focused on education and events, end products and marketing, food recovery, infrastructure development and support, and legislation.
- Map of New York State compost facilities
- Map from the Cornell Waste Management Institute of compost facilities, compost education and demonstration sites, and transfer stations diverting organics to centralized facilities.
- NRDC Food Waste Reports
- Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) released reports and case studies that model food waste trends in New York City, Nashville, and Denver. Estimating Quantities of Food Waste at the City Level, depicts the quantity and type of food occurring in the cities, while Modeling the Potential to Increase Food Rescue, outlines opportunities for surplus food.
- Helpful fact sheets on food donation laws from the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic
- Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
- The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (Public Law 104-210) protects donors from liability when donating to nonprofit organizations and protects donors from civil and criminal liability should the product, donated in good faith, later cause harm to the needy recipient.
- Article 4-D Liability for Canned, Perishable Food or Farm Products Distributed Free of Charge
- In addition to the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, New York State’s Article 4-D provides additional liability protection to donors of food.
NYSP2I Sustainable Food Program
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute’s (NYSP2I) Sustainable Food Program helps food-related businesses and institutions reduce and divert wasted food through an online information clearinghouse, technical assistance, and applied research. The clearinghouse includes various tools such as a Step-by-Step Guide, Self-assessment and Tracking, and Food Waste Estimator.
NYSP2I’s Organic Resource Locator is an interactive map to help connect food-related businesses and institutions with potential resources, such as food banks, compost sites, and anaerobic digesters. NYSP2I offers technical assistance to help businesses and institutions reduce and divert wasted food. Assistance can range from brief support to a project or training.
Contact 585-475-2512 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request assistance. Any New York state-registered business or institution that is involved in the generation or management of food waste is eligible. NYSP2I is a funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and housed at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Watch this webinar to learn from industry experts about strategies to reduce food waste in New York.
New York Legal/Regulatory Requirements
- Effective January 1, 2022, New York will enforce the Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Law. This law requires businesses that generate at least 2 tons of food waste per week and are within 25 miles of an organics recycling facility, such as a compost site, anaerobic digester facility, or animal feed operation, to recycle organic material. This law also instructs all designated food scraps generators to donate surplus edible food for human consumption to the extent possible. Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes, and elementary and secondary schools are excluded from the requirements of the law. Beginning in March 2023, generators are required to submit an annual report that includes the amount of food donated and recycled, as well as the organics recyclers and transporters used. Designated food scraps generators may apply for a temporary waiver from these requirements if they can demonstrate undue hardship.
- The New York City Commercial Organics Recycling Mandate (Local Law 146) states that as of July 1, 2015, specific large-scale generators are mandated to arrange recycling or to employ department-approved methods to process the materials themselves. NYC’s Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling is responsible for enforcing the law. The Commercial Organic Recycling Mandate, created by The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, outlines those organic waste generators that are required to comply. In early 2018, New York City Department of Sanitation adopted and published the final rule related to expansion of the commercial organics recycling mandate which will take effect in August 2018.
In the Press:
Commissioner Seggos and Feeding New York State Announce One-Million-Pound Milestone in Ongoing Food Waste and Donation Initiative– New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
2021 Year-In-Review: Food Waste– Natural Resources Defense Council
Orange County partners with Center for Ecotechnology to reduce food waste– Warwick Advertiser