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Food Waste Composting In New Jersey, 2004-present
Ag Choice, the New Jersey Composting Council (NJCC) and other stakeholders have been meeting with NJDEP to create a tiered approach to regulating composting facilities that accept food waste -- especially since a law that bans food waste disposal for certain size generators was passed in 2020. The current Class C solid waste recycling permit doesn't allow for various scales of food waste composting operations, which include community composting sites and community gardens that process small amounts of food waste. "The one-size-fits-all Class C permit is antiquated and not based on science," explains Fischer, citing the data that Ag Choice has provided to NJDEP over the years. "And the cost to apply for and maintain the permit is prohibitive -- a $50,000 permitting fee, which doesn't take into account costs for engineering, storm water management, and air quality compliance. The annual compliance fees are over $30,000/year. That is out of reach for most organics recycling operations in the state."
Otherwise legislatures might tax undesirable behavior like compost collection out of existence.
[Jay Fischer, Ag Choice founder] emphasizes that more recent meetings with NJDEP staff have been positive, and progress is being made on rule revisions. "The Department has been responsive to our suggestions," he says. "We anticipate NJDEP will create exemptions to the existing rule, especially for community-scale composting. Changing the rules requires a legislative process, so we don't expect to see new rules adopted for at least one to two years. But I'm hopeful that -- more than 15 years in -- the modifications will become reality. Ag Choice has composted millions and millions of pounds of food waste, 365 days a year, in outdoor windrows. This works well."
by Cat on Sun Jan 24th, 2021 at 12:43:03 AM EST

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