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The Center for EcoTechnology’s Sector-Spotlights for Connecticut and Rhode Island Businesses & Institutions

Posted January 4, 2021 by

Connecticut

The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) helps people and businesses save energy and reduce waste. In Connecticut, CET has helped reduce wasted food at a number of K-12 schools and universities by implementing technology solutions, facilitated food donation from supermarkets such as Fresh Market, and launched a composting program at the Sheraton at Bradley Airport. CET’s no-cost technical assistance includes an overview of all appropriate solutions for reducing wasted food, and guidance to implement the solutions that make the most sense for your business.

CET has helped dozens of businesses and institutions in Connecticut learn more about food recovery and wasted food diversion opportunities. For no-cost help at your business or institution, or for your customers or association members, contact CET today at 888-813-8552 or e-mail wastedfood@cetonline.org.

Helpful Connecticut Wasted Food Resources

  • Spotlights from New Haven
    • The state is working to expand organics collection and processing infrastructure, and since 2015, the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) has helped bolster activity by working with commercial businesses to implement strategies to reduce wasted food. Learn how businesses and institutions are working together to recover wasted food & how you can join them.
    • Spotlights from New Haven Social Media Toolkit
      This Social Media Toolkit has pre-written posts and suggested hashtags for you to easily be able to share these success stories on your organization’s social media platforms.
  • Food Donation by Connecticut Schools Guidelines and Resources
    • CET, in collaboration with Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, and others, developed a guidance document for Connecticut schools on opportunities to donate food internally through share tables as well as externally to food banks and charitable organizations. The document consolidates federal and state regulations, including information on liability protection, health codes, and more.
  • 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.
  • Case Study: Wilton School District
    • In 2016, a class project at Middlebrook Middle School inspired their cafeteria’s food waste diversion program and transformed the Wilton School District.

Connecticut Legal/Regulatory Requirements

  • The Connecticut Commercial Organics Recycling Law (Public Act 11-217), in effect as of January 2017, states that commercial food wholesalers or distributors, industrial food manufacturers or processors, supermarkets, resorts, or conference centers that 1) produce 52 or more tons per year (1 ton per week) of organic waste and 2) are located within 20 miles of a permitted recycling facility, must recycle organic material. Compliance options under the law include on-site composting, or installation of permitted on-site organics treatment equipment. The threshold was reduced from 104 tons per year to 52 tons per year on January 1, 2020.

Rhode Island

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

  • Spotlights from Providence
    • Food makes up 35% of all waste landfilled in Rhode Island. Prevention, donation, and recycling are integral to improving public health and achieving climate action goals. Learn how RI businesses and institutions are working together to reduce wasted food & how to join!
    • Spotlights from Rhode Island Social Media Toolkit
      This Social Media Toolkit has pre-written posts and suggested hashtags for you to easily be able to share these success stories on your organization’s social media platforms.
  • 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.

Toolbox

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

TAKE THE NEXT STEP, CONTACT US!

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

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