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New Jersey proposal would encourage transforming food waste to energy

US state of New Jersey has proposed a bill that will require restaurants, supermarkets, and other large food waste generators to separate and recycle their waste for use in waste-to-energy plants and as compost.

The bill S-771, passed by the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee, would encourage the state to build more waste-to-energy facilities.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, food waste is the single largest part of municipal solid waste in the county, responsible for a major portion of US methane emissions.

The Department of Agriculture on its part estimates that the food retail industry lost nearly $47 billion (€42.9bn) in 2010 from food losses, accounting for a total of 8% of their food supply.

“This legislation is an intelligent alternative to improve our environment. We have a problem with waste in this country, and recycling solid waste is a viable system that will produce energy to provide to our homes, schools and businesses,” New Jersey Senator Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), the sponsor of the bill, told NJ.com.

The New Jersey proposal follows a Rutgers University study that found New Jersey was not utilising the potential energy from biomass that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

Last year, the US government set a goal to cut food waste in half by 2030, a move widely supported by the retail, food and beverage industries, among others.





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