Among the nine U.S. states that have passed commercial food waste disposal legislation, five include radius provisions. Businesses that generate wasted food are subject only if there is a food waste processing facility within a designated distance—say, 15 or 20 miles.

Naturally, the default interpretation of these radius provisions is that covered entities be within the designated mileage of an authorized facility in their state. But nothing in these laws excludes out-of-state facilities. In fact, while working with Connecticut and Rhode Island, the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) realized that proactively including the catchments of facilities in border states can give food waste policies a boost as in-state infrastructure catches up with the demand.

For example, when Rhode Island’s ban went into effect in 2016, the state had one authorized composting facility: Earth Care Farm in Charlestown. For a state that is just 37 miles wide and 48 miles long, this left a remarkable portion in “exempt” territory.

Crossing_State_Lines_Wasted_Food_Solutions_Insight
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The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) helps people and businesses save energy and reduce waste. CET acts as a catalyst to accelerate the development of a vibrant marketplace to divert wasted food from the commercial and institutional sectors. We have been a leader in the wasted food reduction and diversion movement for more than 20 years, implementing some of the first wasted food composting programs in the country, and contributing to effective public policy.

We believe that better managing wasted food is critical in order to address climate change, feed more hungry people, and grow our economy. If you are a business, institution, city, state or federal agency, industry group or foundation, and want to tackle the issue of wasted food, please contact us.