AN ACT TO ENACT THE FOOD RECOVERY AND RECYCLING ACT.
Adds new Part 9, Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling, to Article 9 of GS Chapter 130A, providing as follows. Requires all designated food scrap generators to separate their excess edible food for donation for human consumption to the maximum extent possible and in accordance with applicable food donation laws and rules. Defines designated food scrap generators as a person who generates at a single location an annual average of two tons per week or more of food scraps based on a methodology established by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) by rule, including supermarkets, large food service businesses, higher educational institutions, hotels, food processors, correctional facilities, and sports or entertainment venues.
Requires each designated food scraps generator that is within 25 miles of an organics recycler (as defined), to the extent that the recycler has capacity to accept all of the food scraps, to: (1) separate all food scraps remaining after meeting the requirements above from other solid waste; (2) ensure proper storage for food scraps on site; (3) have information available and provide training for employees on proper methods to separate and store food scraps; and (4) obtain a transporter that will deliver food scraps to an organics recycler, self-haul its food scraps to an organics recycler, or provide for organics recycling on-site for some or all of the food waste generated on premises, provided that the remainder is delivered to an organics recycler. Sets out exceptions for any designated food scraps generator that has all of its food scraps processed in a composting facility permitted by DEQ to accept the kinds of food scraps generated by the designated food scraps generator. Defines food scraps as inedible food, trimmings from the preparation of food, and edible food that is not donated, excluding used cooking oil, grease, or food from residential sources, or any food subject to a recall or seizure due to the presence of pathogens.
Requires food scraps generators to report electronically to DEQ annually beginning October 1, 2023, on the amount of edible food donated, amount of food scraps recycled, the organics recycler and associated transporters used, and any other required information.
Allows a food scraps generator to petition DEQ for a temporary waiver of the requirements of the Part due to undue hardship; sets out four grounds for undue hardship. Limits the duration of the waiver to one year, but allows the waiver to be renewed.
Requires waste transporters to dispose of the food scraps by delivery: (1) to a transfer facility that will deliver the scraps to an organics recycler unless the generator has received a waiver or (2) directly to an organics recycler. Requires a waste transporter to take reasonable precautions to not deliver the scraps to an incinerator or landfill or to commingle the scraps with any other solid waste.
Requires a transfer facility that receives the food scraps to ensure they are taken to an organics recycler unless the generation has a waiver; also requires taking precautions to not commingle with other solid waste.
Requires incinerators and landfills to take reasonable precautions to not accept food scraps from generators required to send the scraps to an organics recycler.
Requires DEQ to annually assess, starting no later than January 1, 2022, capacity of each organic recycler and notify designated food scraps generators if they are required to comply with the scrap diversion requirements during the next fiscal year. Requires DEQ to keep a list of all scraps generators, organics recyclers, and waste transporters on its website. Requires the development of educational materials. Requires DEQ to regulate organics recyclers. Requires DEQ to adopt rules or amend existing rules necessary to implement this Part.
Excludes from this Part hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, local school administrative units, charter schools, regional schools, and other schools operated by the State Board of Education.
Requires DEQ to report annually, beginning no later than October 1, 2023, to the Environmental Review Commission on the program, including specified information.
Makes conforming changes to GS 130A-309.10.
The above provisions are effective January 1, 2022.
Appropriates $200,000 in recurring funds and $50,000 in nonrecurring funds for 2020-21 from the General Fund to DEQ, to be allocated to the Division of Waste Management and the Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service to implement the act. Allows DEQ to establish up to four FTE positions. Effective July 1, 2020.
Includes a severability clause.