June 20, 2023 (CONCORD, NH) – New Hampshire’s governor has signed the state’s budget into law, and it contains an important provision to reduce food waste in landfills and incinerators. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement in response.
“There’s no reason why tons of food should end up in New Hampshire’s landfills and incinerators,” said CLF attorney Nora Bosworth, Zero Waste Attorney at CLF. “Food decomposing in landfills spews toxic methane pollution, threatening our health and worsening the climate crisis. In fact, food is the single largest component in most landfills, so keeping it out of our trash will decrease our reliance on poisonous and unsustainable landfills. This provision will ensure that more food is donated or and composted, which is a win for our communities and the planet.”
The new law prohibits any entity generating at least one ton of food waste per week from disposing of it in landfills or incinerators, provided that a composting facility that can manage the food waste is located within 20 miles. It also establishes a food scraps recovery hierarchy, prioritizing source reduction, food donation, and composting, in that order.
In addition to this important provision, the budget also directs $1,000,000 to the Solid Waste Management Fund, and ensures that 50% of that money will be targeted toward reducing and diverting food waste.
Both efforts are critical to New Hampshire’s success in reaching the State’s recently adopted solid waste diversion goals: to reduce the weight of solid waste being disposed of by 25% by 2030 and 45% by 2050.
CLF experts are available for further comment.