The government doesn’t keep track of certain information for no reason at all, I assure you.
As I predicted in July, new environmental regulations are on the way. In Massachusetts, for instance, state environmental officials are preparing to ban hospitals, universities, hotels, large restaurants, and other big businesses and institutions from discarding food waste in the trash beginning in 2014. In the future they want to extend that ban to private homes. Earlier this month, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection released food waste figures, computed in annual tons generated, for these industries:
Mass DEP has drilled way down. The data I saw included figures for individual restaurant locations throughout the state. I’m not exactly sure how they collect this data, but presumably solid waste haulers must supply it for customers whose food waste they truck to the state’s landfills. (If you want to see it for yourself, here is the data for MA generation amounts, and here is the list of MA waste generators.)
The writing is clearly on the wall. Massachusetts is leading the way, but it won’t be long before other state legislatures realize food waste needlessly takes up precious space in landfills, and could be put to much better use generating heat and electricity. That’s why BEP and our partners have made the investments necessary to be ready for this new legislation, which is right around the corner.