The New Jersey General Assembly passed in a bill that would require certain large-scale generators to separate organics if they are within 25 miles of an authorized recycling facility.
This bill, as originally proposed, required commercial large quantity food waste generators to recycle food waste, but it also deemed food waste sent to incinerators or landfills with methane recovery systems to qualify as “recycled food waste.” The bill was vetoed by Governor Murphy after input from organizations (including NJCC) which opposed this provision.
Governor Murphy’s veto urged the Legislature to pass the bill without the exemption for waste sent to incinerators and landfills.
The bill passed in December 2019 with the urging of the New Jersey Composting Council, which had urged its compost community to urge their legislators to support the bill. “New Jersey needs to reclaim its role as a national leader in recycling; S1206 will be the first meaningful step toward diverting and recycling large quantities of food waste for recycling in the Garden State. With over 40% of all food discarded, this is not a material we can afford to ignore. And the many benefits of compost make this proposed bill even more essential,” according to the New Jersey Composting Council in its note urging support for the bill.
Colorado Chapter Proposed Legislation Being Introduced
The Colorado Composting Council (COCC) has spent much of the year working on a bill that will require multiple studies looking at composting infrastructure and end markets (with a special focus on the agricultural sector) as well as a statewide organics management plan to promote compost use. This was proposed to and approved by the Zero Waste Interim Committee at the state legislature.
The committee selected their proposed bill to go forward and the chapter is ready to advocate for the bill, called the Concerning the Development of a Statewide Organics Management Plan to Promote Compost Use.
Maryland: New Compost Legislation on the Horizon
The MD-DC Compost Council and other compost-watchers in the state are anticipating two models, in the form of bills, to be introduced in the upcoming General Assembly session that opens in January.
Both are modeled after organic waste bans in place in the Northeast. They involve mileage radiuses or minimums of food scrap generation by weight that require commercial separation if a facility is within that radius or tonnage meets the required volume. The MD-DC group is working to combine aspects of both into a bill that it can support.
North Carolina: Revised Regulations Completed with USCC Certification Required
The North Carolina Division of Waste Management (DWM) announced in November that it has readopted updated compost rules after conducting a review of the existing Compost Rules in the NC administrative code (last written in May 1996).
Included in the updated regulations is a requirement for training integrating the USCC’s Certification program: “persons who have achieved and maintain compost operator certification by the US Composting Council Certification Commission or equivalent shall be considered as having met the training requirements in G.S. 130A-309.25 for the permitted facility.” North Carolina is one of the first states to include such a requirement.
For the past year, the state has conducted stakeholder meetings and a rules review process that included input from public comments received during rule readoption. The new rules became effective November 1, 2019.