In an announcement on Monday January 31st, the Orange County Government shared that they have entered into a partnership to help local eligible businesses across the county reduce food waste.

Orange County's Department of Public Works, Division of Environmental Facilities and Services (FF&S) have announced a partnership with the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) that will assist eligible businesses in Orange County reduce their food waste.  Those businesses that generate two tons or more of food waste per week will be able to get help in order to reduce their food waste, this according to the requirements of New York State's Food Donation & Food Scraps Recycling Law.

As of January 1, 2022, it is required that businesses and institutions that generate an annual average of two tons of wastes food per week (or more) must donate excess edible food, and recycle all remaining food scraps if they are within 25 miles of an organics recycler.  This according to the NYS Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling law.  The law excludes some businesses and institutions including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, k-12 schools and farms.  New York City does not fall under this law.

CET, The Center for EcoTechnology, have been working for 40 years to help both individuals and businesses reduce waste.  Their mission is 'to research, develop, demonstrate and promote those technologies which have the least disruptive impact on the natural ecology of the Earth.'  According to their website, a few of their goals for 2022 include keeping 120,000 tons of waste out of landfills, and save energy equal to powering 35,000 homes for a year.

Locally, CET will provide program design, cost analysis, and employee training among other services to businesses and institutions in Orange County that are required to comply with the law.  These services come at no cost to the businesses themselves.

Some potential strategies discussed include guidance on food waste prevention measures, and establishing edible food diversion programs to emergency food programs, as well as feeding livestock.  As for inedible food scraps, composting or anaerobic digestion.

If you would like to learn more about the program, free assistance is available from CET at 1-888-813-8552, or wastedfppd@cetonline.org.

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