What is commercial food waste diversion?
Food waste diversion, also known as food recovery, prevents surplus food stuffs from going into the waste stream (garbage). Food waste diversion can be achieved through different forms and can provide various social, economic, and environmental benefits. The highest form of food diversion involves collecting wholesome but unused or unsalable food for distribution to those in need. Food waste diversion reduces waste and decreases resource burden by collecting excess food for use in animal feed, industrial uses (e.g., biofuel production), and composting.
Why was this ordinance adopted?
Diverting edible food and wasted food to higher purposes provides direct and substantial benefits. Food diversion programs provide nutritious meals for hungry people in our community, minimize the environmental burden associated with agricultural production, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Will it cost more to implement a food diversion program?
The cost of implementing a food diversion program can easily be offset by reduced disposal costs now that less waste material is generated. Food waste diversion programs also allow businesses to be socially responsible in a noncontroversial way, introduce sustainable practices, and garner goodwill within the community and customers.
Are there legal risks for businesses to give away food?
No. Robust statutory protections for good faith donations (Federal Bill Emerson Act) of apparently wholesome foods exist to protect and encourage those with excess but edible food to donate to organizations that feed the hungry. These laws eliminate the risk of liability for negligence claims associated with food donation.
Are there any exceptions to this ordinance?
If the commercially-collected generator demonstrates to the satisfaction of the city manager or designee that it is unable to comply due to lack of available service providers or facilities that accept food or food waste. Each exemption request must be completed every six months and submitted using forms provided by the city. Commercial generators shall be notified in writing within sixty days of whether their exemption request is granted or denied.
What are the enforcement penalties for noncompliance with this ordinance?
The city may enforce this article by a civil citation.