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Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law

In 2019, NYS passed the Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling law. Effective January 1, 2022, large generators of food scraps (defined as generating an annual average of two tons 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 (composting facility, anaerobic digester, etc.). Generators may petition DEC for a one-year waiver to these requirements.

Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law Overview (PDF)

Examples of large generators of food scraps:

  • Restaurants
  • Grocery Stores
  • Hotels & Motels
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Malls
  • Event Centers

This law does NOT include:

  • New York City (who already has a local law in place requiring the diversion of food scraps from disposal)
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Adult Care Facilities
  • K-12 Schools

Regulations

DEC is currently developing regulations for implementing the law. Once complete, draft regulations will be available for public comment (anticipated summer 2020).

Anticipated Implementation Timeline

DEC anticipates the following implementation timeline for the Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling law (PDF). This timeline will be updated as the program and implementation process develops.

  • April 2019: Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling law passed
  • October 2019 - February 2020: Stakeholder Meetings
  • Summer 2020: Draft regulations released for public comment period
  • Winter 2020/Spring 2021: Regulations promulgated
  • June 1, 2021: Large food scraps generators notified of designation
  • June 1 - September 1, 2021: Initial waiver submission period
  • January 1, 2022: Effective date of Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling law

Resources

Grant Funding

NYS P2I Food Waste Reduction & Diversion Reimbursement Program

The Food Waste Reduction & Diversion Reimbursement Program (leaves DEC website) is a reimbursement grant program administered by NYS P2I for New York State businesses, municipalities, or not-for-profits that generate large amounts of wasted food and food scraps (greater than 1 ton per week) with the ultimate goal of reducing the amount of wasted food and food scraps sent for disposal at a landfill or incinerator.

Municipal Funding for Food Scraps Reduction, Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling

The goal of this funding program was to assist municipalities in creating and expanding programs to reduce wasted food, donate wholesome food and recycle food scraps (composting, anaerobic digestion, etc.)

Municipal Food Scraps Reduction, Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Awards (PDF)

Funding for Emergency Food Relief Organizations

The goal of this funding program was to support food pantries and other emergency food relief organizations by providing funding to increase the availability of wholesome food to those in need in addition to increasing infrastructure in the emergency food relief organizations network.

Emergency Food Relief Organizations Awards (PDF)

Stay Up To Date

To get the latest information, sign up to receive NYS Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling law announcements. When you sign up, you can expect to receive information on (depending on your interest):

  • Upcoming stakeholder meetings
  • Proposed and published Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling regulations
  • A list of designated food scraps generators, organics recyclers and food scraps haulers
  • Guidance & educational material
  • Annual reporting requirements
  • Instructions for submitting a waiver