Tiered Structure for Organic Waste Handling Comes into Effect : New Regulations for Food Waste Composting and AD in Rhode Island

Rhode Island compost food waste anaerobic digestion Department of Environmental Management
© Bern Altman

New regulations effecting food waste recycling and composting facilities, including a tiered structure for composting based on the quantity of waste handled, have been introduced by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

The DEM explained that the amendments, under Solid Waste Regulations Number 1 (General Requirements) and Number 8 (Composting Facilities), follow a new composting law that took effect earlier this year.

Under the tiered structure for composting based on quantity small-scale operations are permitted to have up to 25 cubic yards of material on site at any given time and are not required to register with DEM.

Medium-scale operations have between 25 and 600 cubic yards (19 to 460 cubic metres) of material on site at any given time and must register with DEM by completing a one-time registration form.

Large-scale facilities handling over 600 cubic yards of material on site at any given time are required to renew their registration every three years.

The DEM said that it has worked closely with the Rhode Island Food Policy Council to develop the regulations governing small- and medium-scale composting operations. The new categories are intended to promote small business growth as well as composting in local communities for leaf and yard waste, putrescible (food scraps) waste, and other organic waste.

The regulations also include, for the first time, a permitting process and standards for anaerobic digesters.

The amended regulations are available at www.dem.ri.gov.

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