We can help you take the next step!

The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) helps Rhode Island businesses and institutions divert wasted food and supports the growth of the service providers marketplace. CET builds awareness of the RI Food Waste Recycling Law and partners with service providers such as Phood to support their source reduction technologies in dining halls across the state. These efforts and others are in partnership with Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Rhode Island Department of Health, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, and the Director of Food Strategy to support the goals of the Relish Rhody plan to reduce wasted food.

CET provides free direct assistance to businesses and service providers. Businesses receive help to maximize the financial, environmental and social benefits of wasted food diversion programs, and training for staff to ensure successful program implementation. On-site assistance may also include technical advice to compost sites to help expand operations. To learn more or to request assistance, contact CET today at 888-813-8552 or e-mail wastedfood@cetonline.org.

Helpful Rhode Island Wasted Food Resources

  • Food strategy report: Relish Rhody
    • Report on Rhode Island’s food system produced in 2017. The Relish Rhody report includes a section on minimizing and diverting wasted food.
  • Solid Waste 2038 comprehensive plan for Rhode Island
    • The solid waste management plan developed by the Rhode Island Division of Planning describes existing practices, programs, and activities in all major solid waste management areas, and recommendations specific to each. One of the Plan’s elements is supporting food waste diversion in the commercial sector through policies, regulations, and statutes that encourage development of private processing facilities.
  • List of food waste diversion resources
    • List of guidance documents and food rescue organizations, compiled by University of Rhode Island for the 2016 Rhode Island Food Safety Task Force Conference.
  • Guidance about food scrap composting on-site
    • Information and printable Do-It-Yourself tip sheet from the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) about composting food waste on-site at schools, businesses, and homes. RIRRC also provides no cost technical assistance to Rhode Island businesses and institutions with recycling and composting programs.
  • Rhode to End Hunger: Donate Surplus Food From Your Business
    • The Rhode to End Hunger, an initiative of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RI DOH), partnered with MEANS Database, to help get unused, edible food to organizations who can use it. Johnson & Wales University, Relish Rhody, RI DOH, EPA, and Rhode Island Hospitality Association collaborated to create a tip sheet for donating food in Rhode Island.
  • Share Table and Food Donation Guidance for Rhode Island Schools
    • foodSCAPE created a guidance document for Rhode Island schools on the donation of surplus food, including external donation to nonprofit organizations and internal donation through share tables. This document was developed with the support of the RI Department of Education, RI Department of Health, and the USDA.
  • 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.

Rhode Island Legal/Regulatory Requirements

  • Rhode Island’s Food Waste Ban (Section 23-18.9-17) included within the Refuse Disposal Law, states that as of January 2016, businesses that produce more than 2 tons of organic waste per week are required to divert it from landfill if located within 15 miles of an authorized composting or anaerobic digestion facility. (This includes commercial wholesalers or distributors, industrial food manufacturers or processors, supermarkets, resorts or conference centers, banquet halls, restaurants, educational or religious institutions, research institutions, military installations, prison corporations, hospitals or other medical care institutions, and casinos.) Businesses and institutions also have the option to process organic waste onsite or divert for agricultural use.
    • As of January 1, 2018, covered educational institutions that generate 1 ton of organic waste per week or more must recycle it at a composting or anaerobic digestion facility, or by another authorized recycling method.
    • Food waste generators are exempt from recycling materials if they are not located within 15 miles of a composting or anaerobic digestion facility. In addition, generators are exempt if a composting or anaerobic digestion facility within 15 miles lacks the capacity to accept their materials.


For more information regarding food waste estimates, source separation guidance, and how to start a food donation program, open CET’s Toolbox.


Contact CET to learn more about food recovery and waste diversion opportunities for your business, institution, customers, or association members: