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Food waste workshop to be held in Barnstable

BARNSTABLE (MA) October 21, 2015 – A free workshop to help citizens, businesses and institutions understand and navigate the new Commercial Food Waste Ban will be held on Friday, October 30, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Harborview Conference Room/Old Jail of the Barnstable County Courthouse Complex.

Food waste has become one of the largest parts of the waste stream in recent years, comprising upwards of 20 percent of Cape Cod’s waste stream. This means wet, heavy and perfectly compostable food waste is going right into the trash rather than into composting—a proactive and environmentally sound waste-management technology. Sending this large, recyclable waste stream off Cape for incineration or to a landfill can drive up regional waste disposal costs in the long run. It can also hurt the bottom line of businesses and institutions that generate large quantities of food waste.

To encourage more diversion of food waste from landfills and incinerators, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently implemented a Commercial Food Waste Ban. This prohibits disposal of commercial organic wastes by Massachusetts businesses and institutions that dispose of one ton or more of these materials per week. Many local restaurants have already begun separating food waste from their trash, benefiting the Cape Cod environment and saving on disposal costs.

In advance of the implementation of the ban, Mass DEP also created a free assistance program called RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts to help businesses and institutions reduce waste, increase recycling and evaluate options for complying with the Commercial Food Waste Ban.

To help understand and navigate the new Commercial Food Waste Ban, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, RecyclingWorks and the Cape & Islands Health Agents Coalition are hosting a workshop—free and open to all—on Friday, October 30, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Harborview Conference Room/Old Jail of the Barnstable County Courthouse Complex, 3195 Main Street, Barnstable.

In this workshop, Heather Billings, a Green Business Specialist with RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts, will discuss:

  • How to estimate how much food waste a restaurant is producing and the potential savings from starting a food waste collection program.
  • Recommended practices for source separation of food waste in restaurants, starting in the kitchen.
  • Working with commercial haulers for collection of food waste.
  • Guidelines for proper food waste storage, from cleanliness to container maintenance.
  • Actions to reduce food waste.
  • Successful examples of food waste diversion at several businesses and institutions.
  • How to learn more about the Commercial Food Waste Ban and the RecyclingWorks technical assistance available to local businesses.
  • Best Management Practices (BMPs) for use by local Health Agents to implement oversight and support commercial food waste collection programs.

For more information on the workshop contact David Quinn, Municipal Assistance Coordinator, Barnstable County/MassDEP at 508.375.6974 or e-mail at