In light of the impending Department of Environmental Protection’s waste ban on organic materials effective July 1, 2014, the attached materials offer alternatives for diversion through food donation. Depending on the type of food (perishable, produce, approaching expiration, etc.) there are various services that pick up the donation and put it to good use to help feed the needy. In addition to the attached materials, there is also information available at the RecyclingWorks Massachusetts website on food donation by clicking here or visiting: http://www.recyclingworksma.com/donate/.
After source reduction, food donation is the second listed priority by the Environmental Protection Agency as a means to remove food from landfills and incinerators. According to the EPA, more food reaches incinerators and landfills than any other single material in municipal solid waste.
FDA EXTENDS POTENTIAL BAN ON TRANS FAT
According to the FDA, the deadline for submitting comment on their proposal to essentially ban partially hydrogenated oils has been extended sixty days to March 8 from its original deadline of January 7. In response to requests, the deadline was extended to allow more comment, essentially pushing back the effective date of a ban, which was first under review of its GRAS (acceptable) status on November 7.
2014 Minimum Wage Increases
Thirteen states are increasing their minimum wages, most of which were effective January 1, 2014. Employers operating in these states should ensure that their payroll is in compliance.
On January 1 a ban on polystyrene went into effect, joining Brookline, Great Barrington and Nantucket. The ban includes single use disposable products for serving or transporting prepared ready-to-consume food or beverages such as plates, cups, bowls, trays, and hinged or lidded containers. It doesn’t include single use disposable items such as straws, cups, lids or utensils or single use disposable packaging for unprepared foods such as meat, poultry or fish.
CAMBRIDGE ADVANCES TOWARDS PLASTIC BAG BAN
On December 19 the Ordinance Committee of the Cambridge, Mass., City Council voted in favor of considering a plastic-bag ban. A full-council vote is needed to pass the ban, which could happen soon, now that the new Council has been sworn in. The Council meets weekly each Monday evening. The proposed ordinance would require retailers to offer a recyclable paper bag or a reusable bag.
Somerville may consider plastic bag ban
On January 6 during his inaugural address, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone remarked that he hoped to make 2014 the year that Somerville would finally rid the community of plastic bags. The city has already banned polystyrene take-out food containers used as single-use disposable food service containers made from expanded polystyrene — often called styrofoam — such as coffee cups, plates and hinged food trays. The ban does not affect packages for uncooked foods, such as trays for meat, eggs and other groceries. It goes into effect this June.
This article has been moved here