Massachusetts’ New Food and Textile Waste Disposal Ban and What It Means For You

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Trash Cans filled with food waste

How much food do you throw away every week? In the U.S. about 40% of food in the U.S. never gets eaten.

The average person throws away one pound of food each day which generates about 133 pounds of food waste annually.

In Massachusetts, food waste accounts for one-fourth of municipal waste and it’s quickly filling up landfill sites.

This is happening while the state’s hunger rate is shooting up and one million people are struggling to get enough to eat.

In response to this shocking loss of food, The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has introduced some stringent laws to tackle the problem.

In 2014, the agency banned the disposal of commercial organic waste by businesses and institutions that dispose of one ton or more of these materials per week. The aim was to help divert at least 35 percent of all food waste to composting, conversion, recycling or reuse.

In October 2020, (MassDEP) released a public hearing notice announcing the expansion of the waste regulations. 

The threshold for commercial food waste was reduced from 1 ton per week to 0.5 tons per week.  Textiles, as well as mattresses, were also added to the list of materials banned from disposal, effective October 21, 2021.

Textiles include clothing, clean footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, and similar products.

What the ban means for you

It’s important to know the state waste disposal regulations to avoid illegal dumping. 

The commercial food waste ban may not affect you directly (yet) but it shows the urgency of the situation. Reducing food waste can help address food insecurity in your state and safeguard the environment. 

As a responsible citizen you can take positive action to cut down the waste you send to landfill. Here are some simple steps you can take.

How to reduce food waste

  • Plan your weekly meals to avoid buying excess
  • Make a shopping list before going to the grocery store
  • Check the use-by dates before buying
  • Store food properly to make it last long
  • Use leftovers 
  • Compost kitchen scraps
  • Donate fresh food to local food banks

How to reduce textile waste

  • Repair clothes that are still in good condition
  • Swap clothes with friends or on swap apps like Depop
  • Donate to local charities
  • Avoid fast fashion trends and go for timeless pieces
  • Upcycle old clothes

Are you in need of junk removal in Massachusetts? It’s time to get in touch with Green Team Junk removal. Take a look at the list of junk removal items we take on our website. We pick up everything allowed by Massachusetts law.

Contact us today to get a free estimate!