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Flaws In France’s Food Waste Law Are Glaring

France’s year-old food waste law, which targeted supermarkets with fines for throwing out food that was edible or useable as animal feed, has been ineffective so far, according to consumer group QueChoisir. One key problem is a lack of government support across the supply chain. Supermarkets who have contracts with charities need better redistribution services, i.e., transportation services for collection and delivery of discarded food at the right times. They also need cooling facilities for the food, but these are expensive. The result? In the province of Isère, more than 75 percent of surplus foods never reach partner charities. The law also failed to set a minimum amount of surplus for donation. A supermarket that gives even one ...  More

"France's Food Waste Ban: One Year On",, March 24, 2017

County Food Waste Composting Program Saves Real Money

Residents of a Massachusetts county are able to trade scrap food for compost in a program that includes seven towns. The scrap food is emptied into a dumpster at a transfer station, then trucked to a farm. Composting takes about four months, after which residents can buy it for use in organic gardens. The county learned years ago that trash disposal is expensive, so whatever can be composted or recycled saves the towns – and its citizens – money. It’s also a better option than home composting, which should not add animal products such as meat, bones, dairy, and fats like peanut butter and mayonnaise. Decomposing meats, fats and dairy smell bad and attract pests. And they produce anaerobic bacteria that interfere with normal composting. [ ...  More

"Area Composters Encourage Making Good Use of Food Waste", The (Franklin County, Mass.) Recorder, March 17, 2017

Iowa Municipality Implements Curbside Food Waste Pickup Program

Residents of Iowa City, Iowa, are now allowed to put food waste, including meat and eggs, as well as uncoated paper products, into 35-gallon waste bins – they hold up to 50 pounds – marked with special stickers for curbside pickup. Iowa City officials hope to divert some of the 18,000 tons of food waste that end up in city landfills to composting facilities. The town has been composting food waste since 2007, getting about 600 tons a year from various sources, including the University of Iowa dining halls and hospitals. Officials expect the new curbside program will add another 500 to 1,000 tons a year. [ Food waste bin, image credit: © City of Iowa City  ]

"Food Waste Joins Curbside Composting in Iowa City", The Gazette (Iowa City, IA), March 13, 2017

School’s Composter Teaches Environmental Lessons While Reducing Food Waste

A school in Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) has installed a food composter that “digests” as much as 200 pounds of food waste a day – not including avocado pits and beef bones. Since November the small, quiet machine has processed 7,000 pounds, turning the waste into non-potable water. The Power Knot Liquid Food Composter uses food-grade plastic pellets with enzymes that help break down the food as it’s agitated in water. Major benefits of the machine: it has so far reduced the school’s trash disposal fees of about $1,400 by $300; it has kept a lot of food waste out of the landfill where decomposition would have created methane gas; and it teaches environmental lessons in recycling and ecology to the students. The water produced is drained away ...  More

"How a Gardens School’s Lunch Leftovers are Being Converted to Water",, March 07, 2017

New Orleans Libraries Serve As Collection Points For Kitchen Waste

Two public libraries in New Orleans offer residents the chance to dispose of their food waste – leftover vegetable peels and cuts, coffee grounds, etc. – by dropping them off to be picked up for composting by a local farm. The two libraries have collected more than a ton of food waste since the program was launched in January. Residents are asked to place the leftover scraps in paper bags or compostable bags, or in reusable containers, and freeze them before bringing them to the libraries. [ Image credit: © Alastair M. Robinson  ]

"Bring Your Food Waste to the Library for Composting: Yes, really", The New Orleans Times-Picayune, March 05, 2017

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