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Organics Policy and Composting Regulations: A Guide to Laws in Your Area

Organics Policy and Composting Regulations: A Guide to Laws in Your Area

Dealing with organic waste can be tricky for consumers and businesses alike, especially with regulations that are often complex and challenging to navigate. 

For businesses, it’s even more critical to comply. Failing to comply can lead to dissatisfied patrons and legal issues, so it’s crucial to be aware of the rules in your local area. By following the regulations, however, you can promote sustainable practices while avoiding any legal problems that may arise.

To ensure that your business has an effective and legal means of disposing of compostable food packaging, it’s essential to understand the various laws and guidelines governing the process in your state. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through an overview of statewide waste diversion, composting, and organics recycling policies relevant to your industry so that you can conduct business responsibly and in compliance with local laws. 

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Terms to Know: Waste Diversion, Composting, and Organics Recycling

Chapter 2: How Does Legislation Affect Your Area?

Chapter 3: Policies by State

Chapter 4: What Can We Do to Help?


Before looking at the policies, we’ll help you understand the different green terms that are used. By understanding these terms, you’ll be able to decide which programs or policies you’ll have to add or implement to your foodservice operation to comply with state laws. 

Waste diversion is the practice of reducing the volume of waste in landfills by diverting it elsewhere. 

waste-diversion-cans

Instead of relying on conventional waste disposal methods, waste diversion focuses on environmentally responsible and resource-efficient processes. This approach aims to mitigate the environmental impact of waste disposal while promoting sustainable resource management.

There are several methods of waste diversion, including

  • Recycling
    • Organic Recycling
  • Source Reduction
  • Reuse
  • Waste-to-Energy
  • Composting

Waste diversion programs are driven by growing environmental concerns, government regulations, and the need to optimize how we utilize our resources. By keeping waste out of landfills, waste diversion contributes to environmental sustainability, conserves natural resources, and often results in long-term cost savings for commercial enterprises.

Recycling involves collecting and processing materials like paper, glass, plastics, and metals to create new products. 

Organic recycling involves collecting and processing organic materials like food scraps, lawn clippings, and compostable food packaging to create new products. 

Instead of waiting for waste to be generated, source reduction aims to prevent waste generation by encouraging responsible consumption and minimal use of disposable products.

Almost all manufacturing and production facilities generate some amount of waste. On a commercial scale, reuse is the process of minimizing the waste that needs to be disposed of by using as much of the scrap metal as possible in the production process. More typically, reuse can also refer to the act of reusing items more than once prior to disposal. 

Waste-to-energy is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity, heat, or steam from the treatment of waste. This process involves burning waste materials in a controlled environment, which produces high temperatures that are then used to create energy. The waste comes from a variety of sources, including municipal solid waste, industrial waste, and agricultural waste.

If something is biodegradable, that means it can undergo a process where materials get broken down into simple, organic compounds, like biomass, carbon dioxide, and water.

Another way to look at it is that biodegradable materials are just materials that naturally break down into organic materials over time. This works because microorganisms like bacteria and fungi are able to break the biodegradable material down into organic matter that is then reabsorbed back into the earth. 

There are a few factors that can affect how long it takes biodegradable materials to break down, including material type, whether it’s processed or left in a landfill, temperature levels, light levels, moisture levels, and air levels.

If left in a landfill, biodegradable food packaging will still biodegrade, but it will have a more significant impact on the environment. In fact, it can take hundreds of years for something to biodegrade in landfill conditions. 

Composting is the process of organic waste returning to the earth through recycling and reuse. 

Compostable food packaging has two key characteristics that differentiate it from biodegradable or other food packaging. First, it must be able to break down within a specified timeframe. Typically, in commercial composting, the time frame only covers a couple of months. Second, it must also decompose naturally into the earth without leaving even a trace of toxic residue. 

It is important to note that not all compostable packaging can break down naturally in a landfill. Composting requires a certain process involving heat, humidity, and microorganisms to help decompose waste and convert it into biomass and other inorganic substances. This form of composting takes place in a commercial composting facility. 

Home composting has limitations compared to commercial composting

The biggest difference is that home composting can’t handle a wide range of organic materials. Some items, like compostable food packaging, may not fully decompose in a backyard compost pile.

In contrast, commercial composting facilities can process a broader spectrum of organic materials thanks to the controlled conditions they maintain.

compost-bin-in-use

It’s important to note that the organic waste accepted at commercial composting facilities often requires higher and more consistent composting temperatures to get the job done. This temperature difference is required to effectively break down various types of organic matter and ensure the final compost is safe for use.

Organics recycling is the process of collecting and processing organic waste materials, such as food scraps, yard waste, and other biodegradable or compostable materials. 

This process aims to convert these organic waste materials into valuable compost. Similarly, organics recycling laws aim to reduce the amount of organic waste sent to landfills and incinerators, thereby minimizing environmental impacts and promoting sustainable efforts.

Key components of organics recycling include collection, transportation, processing, and usage. 

First, organic waste is separated from other types of waste at the source, typically through separate collection bins or containers. This part of the process is the same for households, businesses, and municipalities. Then, collected organic waste is transported to facilities where it can be processed. These facilities may be composting sites, anaerobic digestion facilities, or other specialized plants.

At the processing facilities, organic waste undergoes decomposition, which can occur through various methods, including composting and anaerobic digestion. The decomposition process relies on microorganisms to break down organic materials into products that can be used, typically nutrient-rich compost or biogas. The resulting compost or biogas can be used for various purposes, including soil enrichment, renewable energy production, and soil conditioning. 

Efforts to implement organic recycling programs vary by region. They are often driven by environmental concerns, waste reduction goals, and regulatory mandates aimed at reducing the environmental impact of organic waste disposal.

As a business, it can be difficult to understand your state’s laws and how they affect you, especially when these definitions get amended over time. 

If not already in place, your business will have to implement a recycling program to meet the organics recycling, waste diversion, and composting requirements mandated by your respective state if applicable. 

These programs involve establishing contracts with waste haulers, setting up dedicated sorting stations with clear signage, providing continuous employee training, and, perhaps most importantly, fostering employee engagement. One of the best ways to facilitate participation and reduce concerns about contamination is to introduce compostable products like liners and food service wares to your business.

Still, it’s important to recognize that policies and regulations related to composting can vary significantly from state to state. 

Some states have comprehensive laws that address various aspects of composting, from the types of materials accepted to the processing methods employed. In contrast, other states have more limited regulations that apply only to specific facilities or operations. As a result, it’s crucial to thoroughly research the specific laws and regulations applicable to your location. 

Alternatively, you can collaborate with knowledgeable partners like Imperial Dade to ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties. Non-compliance with these regulations can lead to consequences, including fines, penalties, and legal action.

Did you know that 4-10% of food and food packaging purchased by the foodservice industry is thrown out before reaching customers? Unfortunately, most of it ends up in landfills. As a result, nearly 45% of the waste that makes up all materials landfilled in the United States comprises food and food packaging containers.

To address this concern, many state governments are focused on promoting responsible organic waste management and composting practices through various laws and regulations. 

These efforts are typically made up of waste diversion, composting, and organics recycling laws aimed at minimizing the impact of organics waste. Encouraging businesses to manage their organic waste properly, these laws help states reach their organics waste diversion goals while promoting sustainable practices. 

In this chapter, you’ll find a list of all the major laws, policies, and regulations regarding waste diversion, composting, and organics recycling organized by state. You can use the alphabetized list of states below to check out the policies that affect your business. 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting FacilitiesNo

State Resources

Alabama Department of Environmental Management 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities5

State Resources

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities6

State Resources

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities27

State Resources

Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment 

The California state government has enacted three significant bills: SB 1383 (2016), AB 1826 (2014), and SB 1335 (2021). All three of these bills work together to reduce the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfills by promoting source reduction and organics recycling.

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities249

State Resources

California Department of Conservation 

SB 1383 (2016)

AB 1826 (2014)

SB 1335 (2021)

CAL. CODE REGS. TIT. YesIV, § 18981.1-18998.4

In 2023, the state of Colorado passed SB23-253 to regulate the labeling and marketing of compostable products. This legislation requires that products labeled as compostable undergo composting in a controlled setting and in accordance with ASTM international standards. The law aims to ensure that products labeled as compostable are capable of decomposing in a controlled composting system.

Apart from statewide laws, the city of Boulder has its own set of organics recycling, waste diversion, and composting policies. This guide also provides information on the unique policies relevant to business in the Boulder area. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities33

Boulder, CO

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities1

State Resources

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

SB23-253

Statewide Organics Management Plan

Solid waste regulations and statutes

Boulder, CO Resources

Boulder County Environment and Sustainability 

Universal Zero Waste Ordinance 

The state of Connecticut recognizes the importance of finding a sustainable way to manage organic waste. Rather than putting organic waste into a dump, they want to turn it into something useful. The state has established rules and regulations to ensure that organic waste is properly disposed of instead of just being sent to a landfill.

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities140

State Resources

Connecticut State Council on Environmental Quality 

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-226e

Commercial Organics Recycling Law

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities5

State Resources

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities269

State Resources

Florida Department of Environmental Protection 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities42

State Resources

Georgia Environmental Protection Division 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities2

State Resources

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities5

State Resources

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities58

State Resources

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities119

State Resources

Indiana Department of Environmental Management 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities80

State Resources

Iowa Department of Natural Resources 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities184

State Resources

Kansas Department of Health and Environment 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities33

State Resources

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities215

State Resources

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality 

More than 40% of Maine’s solid waste stream by weight consists of organic material. To reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills, the state has implemented a Food Recovery Hierarchy. The aim of the hierarchy is to decrease the amount of food that is burned or disposed of in landfills by prioritizing ways to reuse food scraps and waste. Organic materials can be collected, and their value recovered through composting by introducing separation and recovery programs.

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities121

State Resources

Maine Department of Environmental Protection 

§2101-B. Food recovery hierarchy:  

Maine Solid Waste Management Rules: CHAPTER 410: Composting Facilities

Maryland has enacted a series of environmental codes to promote organic recycling and waste diversion of food residuals, specifically among large generators like supermarkets, hotels, schools, universities, and food processing and distribution facilities. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities18

State Resources

Maryland Department of the Environment 

MD. CODE ANN. ENV’T § 9–1701; MD. CODE ANN. ENV’T § 9–1724.1 

MD Env Code § 9-2102 (2018)

Organics Diversion and Composting

In recent years, Massachusetts has faced a significant reduction in landfill capacity. To tackle this issue, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection introduced a ban on solid waste disposal for businesses and institutions that dispose of at least one ton of food waste per week. The aim of this ban is to encourage recycling, composting, and food rescue while reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills.

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No 
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities121

State Resources

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

310 MASS. CODE REGS. 19.017

310 CMR 16.00: Site assignment regulations for solid waste facilities

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities114

State Resources

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy 

Minnesota aims to divert 75% of waste from landfills, with at least 60% of this being made up of solid waste. To achieve this, the state has included organic recycling within the broader definition of recycling in its legislature. To assist in reaching its goal of 75% waste diverted, Minnesota passed legislation in 2017 known as MN §115A.151. This law supports the implementation of organic recycling, a key part of the state’s overall waste reduction strategy.

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities129

State Resources

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board 

MN §115A.151 (2017)

Minnesota Administrative Rules 7035.2836 COMPOST FACILITIES.

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities15

State Resources

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities11

State Resources

Missouri Department of Natural Resources 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities45

State Resources

Montana Department of Environmental Quality 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities10

State Resources

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities10

State Resources

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities162

State Resources

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services 

New Jersey has made significant strides in promoting organic recycling, waste diversion, and composting throughout the state in recent years. In 2019, the state passed a law requiring large food waste generators to separate and recycle their organic waste. Additionally, the state has implemented a mandatory recycling program for all businesses and institutions, which includes composting as an acceptable form of diversion. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities301

State Resources

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 

N.J. STAT. ANN. § 13:1E-99.122-125

N.J.A.C. 7:26A-1 et seq. 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities41

State Resources

New Mexico Environment Department 

The New York State Legislature passed N.Y. Environmental Conservation Law §§ 27-2201 – 27-2219 to address conservation matters in the state. These statutes aim to protect and preserve the state’s natural resources, ecosystems, and wildlife. Senate Bill S8374 represents recent legislative amendments to this conservation law, indicating ongoing efforts to adapt and strengthen environmental protection measures in the state.

Apart from statewide laws, New York City has its own set of organics recycling, waste diversion, and composting policies. This guide also provides information on the unique policies relevant to business in the New York City area. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities347

New York, NY

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities8

State Resources

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 

N.Y. Environmental Conservation Law §§ 27-2201 – 27-2219

Senate Bill S8374

6 CRR-NY 361-3.2 composting facilities.

New York, NY Resources

New York City Department of Environmental Protection 

Commercial Organics Recycling Mandate

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities64

State Resources

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality  

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities81

State Resources

North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities419

State Resources

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities14

State Resources

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has revised its composting regulations twice – once in 2009 and again in 2019. The aim of these updates was to help Oregon achieve its target of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030. The regulations support composting and aim to prevent the negative environmental impacts of poorly managed compost facilities.

Apart from statewide laws, the city of Portland has its own set of organics recycling, waste diversion, and composting policies. This guide also provides information on the unique policies relevant to business in the Portland area. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities60

Portland, OR Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities1

State Resources

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 

OR SB582 §41 

OAR 340-096-0060 through 340-096-0150

Portland, OR Resources

Portland Environmental Services  

Metro Code Chapter 5.15 

Food Scraps Policy

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities217

State Resources

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection 

The state has implemented legislation that requires businesses and institutions to recycle and compost food waste and has set a target of diverting 50% of solid waste from landfills to composting facilities by 2025. Overall, Rhode Island is committed to reducing waste and promoting sustainable practices and is taking significant steps to achieve these goals.

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities24

State Resources

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management 

R.I. GEN. LAWS ANN. § 23-18.9-17; R.I. GEN. LAWS ANN. § 16-111-1

250-RICR-140-05-8

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities23

State Resources

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities143

State Resources

South Dakota Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities8

State Resources

Tennesee Department of Environment & Conservation 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

While there are no statewide policies in place, the city of Austin has its own set of organics recycling, waste diversion, and composting policies. This guide also provides information on the unique policies relevant to business in the Austin area. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities34

Austin, TX Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities4

State Resources

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 

Austin, TX Resources

Austin Department of Resource Recovery 

§15-6-1 – §15-6-133

Resolution NO. 20050519-44

Universal Recycling Ordinance 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities37

State Resources

Utah Department of Environmental Quality 

With only one active landfill serving the entire state, Vermont lawmakers realized a need to reduce the amount of its disposed organic waste. As a result, the state embarked on a first-of-its-kind, statewide parallel collection program of all mandated recyclable materials. Vermont has enacted several statutes and acts with the aim of having all its citizen’s food scraps and other organics diverted from landfill disposal.

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities14

State Resources

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources 

10 V.S.A. § 6605:§ 6605k

Act 148

Rule Number: 20P-005

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities33

State Resources

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality 

Washington’s proactive composting policies require certain businesses to separate organic waste for composting. The state has also set standards for compost quality and labeling. These laws are part of broader efforts to promote sustainable waste management by diverting organic waste from landfills and supporting composting practices.

Apart from statewide laws, the city of Seattle has its own set of organics recycling, waste diversion, and composting policies. This guide also provides information on the unique policies relevant to business in the Seattle area. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceYes
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities126

Seattle, WA Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place Yes
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceYes
# Commercial Composting Facilities0

State Resources

Washington State Department of Ecology 

WA HB 1799 (2022)

WA HB 1569 (2019)

Chapter 173-350-220 WAC

Seattle, WA Resources

Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment 

Ban of Recyclables in Garbage

SMC 21.36.082

SMC 21.36.083

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting FacilitiesNo

State Resources

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities266

State Resources

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 

Currently, no statewide policies regarding organics recycling, waste diversion, or composting have been enacted. Check back in the future for policy updates. Should there be any policy updates in the future, there are already a number of commercial composting facilities in place. 

Organics Recycling, Waste Diversion, and Composting Policy

Composting Laws in PlaceNo
Organics Recycling Laws in Place No
Organics Waste Diversion Laws in PlaceNo
# Commercial Composting Facilities29

State Resources

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality 

Disclaimer: Please note that the information on our website is meant for your reference and convenience. When you leave our site to visit State websites, please understand that the content on those sites is the responsibility of the respective State entities.

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Our green products and services support and encourage participation in zero-waste and organic waste collection programs. Take, for example, Imperial Dade’s Greensafe program

One aspect of Imperial Dade’s Greensafe program focuses on sustainable packaging. We provide consultative support on topics including source reduction, recycling, composting, life-cycle assessment, and third-party certifications. There are many attributes to consider when selecting the best food packaging and service for an operation, and we assist foodservice operators in making the best choices based on their sustainable goals and local regulations. 

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For any business looking to enhance its zero-waste and organic waste collection efforts or contribute to a more sustainable future, reaching out to an Imperial Dade sales representative is the first step. 

Call your nearest Imperial Dade facility today and set up a free evaluation of your whole facility!

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