BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts has issued final regulations on a statewide commercial food waste ban.
The regulations take effect in October and are intended to divert leftover food and reduce the state's waste stream.
The ban, which will be regulated by the state Department of Environmental Protection, requires businesses that dispose of at least one ton of organic material per week donate or "re-purpose" any useable food.
Any remaining food waste will have to be shipped to an anaerobic digestion facility, where it will be converted to clean energy, or sent to composting and animal-feed operations.
Residential food materials and food waste from small businesses are not included in the ban.
Officials say the disposal ban affects approximately 1,700 institutions statewide, including supermarkets, colleges, universities, hotels, convention centers, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and food service and processing companies.