Monday, July 24, 2017

NJ commits to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030

Keeping food waste out of dumps and landfills can help reduce methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming

food waste

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

Within the next 13 years, the state aims to reduce the amount of food waste in New Jersey by 50 percent.
Gov. Chris Christie signed the legislation (S-3027) on Friday without comment, one of dozens of bills he enacted into law.
Drawing little attention as it sailed through both houses of the Legislature unanimously, the bill is designed to address a well-recognized problem across America as evidenced by 160 billion pounds of food waste each year.
The law, part of a package of bills dealing with the issue still awaiting final approval, gives the state Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, one year to develop and begin implementing a plan to accomplish the goal.
As much as 40 percent of the food that is grown, processed, and transported is never eaten, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. About 42 million Americans live in food-insecure households, according to federal agricultural officials.
“Wasting food does not make economic or environmental sense,’’ said Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), the bill’s sponsor and chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “As a state, we need to reduce food waste.’’
Food waste constitutes one of the largest sources of municipal waste that winds up in a landfill, where it can ultimately emit methane, one of the more potent greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.
“Fifty percent is an ambitious goal, but one we can reach,’’ said Guy Watson, president of the New Jersey Association of Recyclers on the governor signing the bill.
“New Jersey has long been a leader in recycling,’’ Watson said. “This is our chance to turn what now is worthless garbage into valuable energy, agricultural, and landscaping products.’’

Read the full story here

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