The model law below addresses methods by which states can support the sustainable management of food waste. It targets individuals producing food residuals, and establishes state policies for the reduction of food residuals, residuals’ diversion for consumption, and composting. It also empowers state officers to enact appropriate composting rules, and provide other relevant supports to achieve the state’s policy goals.
The model law is accompanied by an expansive memorandum reviewing the potential of food waste management to reduce greenhouse gases, both existing and proposed state and federal policy on food waste (highlighting different pathways for legislation, including expanding the Emerson Act’s liability provisions, banning or restricting organic waste, and tax incentives for food donations), local and international policies, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food waste. The model law itself incorporates language from Vermont, California, and New Hampshire state legislation on expanding the Emerson Act’s liability provisions, as well as language from California on redirecting food residuals that can be consumed into compost.
The model law and its accompanying memorandum were drafted by Scott W. Badenoch, Jr., Visiting Attorney at the Environmental Law Institute and Senior Mysun Foundation Clinical Fellow at the Irvine School of Law, and his team comprised of Denise Taliaferro, Moira O’Neill of Berkley Law, Sara Zimmerman of the Climate Equity Policy Center, Bruce Johnson of ELI and Saumya Bharti. Peer review of these documents was furnished by Michael Burger, Executive Director of the Sabin Center, and the author of LPDD Chapter 7.