Organic Materials Management
Rethink Food Waste NY - Free Technical Assistance for Food Related Businesses and Organics Recyclers
DEC recently announced a new three-year contract with the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) to provide additional technical assistance for those interested in sustainably managing excess food and food scraps, to further reduce the amount of wasted food in New York State. This new initiative, named Rethink Food Waste NY, provides free food waste solutions for New York businesses, municipalities, organic recyclers (composting, anaerobic digestion, etc.), food relief organizations, and others!
Assistance is available at no cost to businesses, composting facilities, municipalities, and others in New York. Learn more about Rethink Food Waste NY and how to get started today.
Free Assistance for Businesses & Institutions
CET will provide customized recommendations to reduce the amount of food wasted, create solutions to realize potential monetary savings to your purchasing costs, and assist in implementing food scraps collection and recycling programs.
Free Assistance for Organics Recycling Facilities (Composting Facilities, Anaerobic Digestion Facilities, etc.)
CET and their team of organics recycling consultants will assist composting and anaerobic digestion facilities (public, private, non-profit owned and/or operated) with improving operations and potentially expanding to incorporate more food scraps.
DEC Funding for Local Emergency Food Relief Equipment -- Application Period Closed
The goal of this funding program is to assist 501(c)(3) not-for-profits that provide emergency food relief in New York State. Approximately $500,000 is available for Local Emergency Food Relief Equipment Grants.
2023 Amendment: Approximately $1,750,000 has been additionally allocated to this grant program to fund additional applicants.
501(c)(3) not-for-profit (NFP) corporations that provide emergency food relief in New York State, excluding New York State Food Banks, are considered eligible applicants. Note: New York State Food Banks are not eligible.
The following types of equipment that assist local emergency food relief organizations in providing food to those in need are eligible for funding under this grant program:
- trucks, refrigerated vehicles and related equipment (trailers, insulated food storage containers, etc.) used in the transport of food; and
- cooling equipment (freezers, refrigerators, walk-in freezer or cold room, etc.) and related installation costs (electrical, delivery, etc.).
Applications were accepted on an ongoing basis from October 5, 2022 3:00PM EST to Wednesday October 4th, 2023 3:00 PM EST. All projects will be evaluated by DEC for eligibility in the order in which they are received (first-in, first-out). The application period for this grant program has closed.
- New York State Food Donation & Food Scraps Recycling Law
- New York City Commercial Organics Diversion Mandate (leaves DEC website)
- Ulster County Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Act (leaves DEC website)
About Organics Material Management
Organic materials are carbon based compounds that come from living things and are readily biodegradable, making them a valuable resource rather than a waste. It is the organic matter and nutrients in these materials that lead to the useful products (e.g., compost, biogas, digestate, etc.) created at organics recycling facilities. From farm wastes to residential lawns, cafeteria scraps to biosolids, organic materials are a part of life. Managing these materials through reduction, reuse, and recycling is a high priority in New York State.
Following the waste management hierarchy, reduction and reuse are at the top, representing the highest priority for materials management. This is followed by recycling and then disposal. Recycling organic materials by composting, anaerobic digestion, land application, and other organics recycling technologies reduces the generation of greenhouse gases, creates soil amendments, energy, and jobs, and reduces reliance on waste disposal.
NYSDEC provides regulatory oversight, technical assistance, education and outreach, and funding for organics reduction and recycling in New York State.
Types of Organics Wastes
Some of the common organic materials that can be recycled include:
- Animal Manure - Includes both manure and bedding materials.
- Animal Mortalities - Mortalities are an unfortunate but real component of managing farm animals, wildlife, and pets. Visit Cornell Waste Management Institute's mortality composting for more information.
- Biosolids - Biosolids are the solids or semi-solids resulting from wastewater treatment. When managed properly to destroy pathogenic organisms, biosolids can be used as a valuable soil amendment due to their organic matter and nutrient content.
- FOG (Fats, Oils, and Greases) - FOG is generated from commercial food preparation including frying foods, cooking meats, and managing creams, sauces, and dairy products. Many commercial food preparers are required to install and maintain FOG interceptors to avoid disposal to the sewer system.
- Food Processing Waste - Includes the preparation of produce, grains, dairy, and meats for human consumption. These businesses can generate a variety of organic wastes such as skins, rinds, pumps, whey, off-spec products, and process washwater/residuals.
- Food Scraps - Includes food unfit for human consumption, unwanted cooking preparation/kitchen scraps and table scraps, including items such as vegetable trimmings, banana peels, apple cores, bones, egg shells, etc.
- Food Soiled Paper - Includes paper products that are not recyclable due to contact with food residues or wax coatings, including napkins, paper towels, pizza boxes, uncoated paper plates, used coffee filters, etc.
- Yard Trimmings - Includes leaves, grass clippings, garden and other plant debris, tree branches and limbs, aquatic weeds, etc. resulting from the maintenance of lawns, gardens, and public spaces.
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