More Than a New Year’s Resolution: Connecticut’s Organics Recycling Mandate Expands to 2022 | Robinson + Cole Environmental Law +
Perhaps not as glamorous as Times Square’s crystal ball, but something else falls at the start of the new year: the threshold for the mandatory separation and recycling of food waste by certain industrial and commercial facilities in Connecticut.
Legislation adopted this year halved the annual tonnage of organic waste production – from 52 tonnes / year to 26 tonnes / year – which will trigger the state’s organic waste recycling mandate under certain conditions. In particular, as of January 1, 2022, certain facilities – industrial food manufacturers and processors, commercial food wholesalers and distributors, supermarkets, resorts and conference centers – must separate organics from other wastes at source. solids and ensure that these organic materials are recycled in an approved composting facility. This requirement is triggered if the following conditions are met:
- The facility must generate an average projected volume of at least 26 tonnes / year of source-separated organic matter;
- The facility does not compost its source separated organics on-site, nor does it process it through on-site organic treatment equipment permitted by state or federal law; and
- The facility is located 20 miles or less from a licensed composting facility that has available capacity and will accept source segregated materials.
Although Connecticut law does not provide details on how to calculate the average projected volume of a facility against the 26 ton / year threshold, the internet does provide some tools that may be useful for this purpose (Warning). For example, there is a calculator developed by recycling work funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as part of that state’s similar organics recycling mandate.
To determine if a licensed composting facility is within 20 miles of your facility, a good place to start is the Food Waste Composting webpage of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection of Canada. Connecticut. This page includes a relatively recent, but not necessarily final, list of such composting facilities.
Unlike some of the other jurisdictions across the country with similar organics recycling mandates, the Connecticut program does not cover institutional cafeterias, such as those in large corporate offices, hospitals, schools, or universities.