Updates from the Environment WG

Everything’s coming up compost! Read on for updates from RIFPC Environment WG Chair Antonia Bryson:

 

In late December, the Department of Environmental Management published for comment its expanded regulations on composting. These regulations will make it much easier for small and medium scale composting to get started. We hope the final version will be issued soon, and Rhode Islanders can begin to recycle their food waste, saving us valuable landfill space and giving our soils a boost.

In anticipation of the new world of composting, the Food Policy Council has been working with URI students to investigate best practices for composting at our schools. Several Rhode Island schools are cooperating with the students to assess the challenges and opportunities in recycling food in the school structure. We hope to have some great information and ideas by the end of the semester.

As you already know, reducing food waste is a major objective of the Council given the role of resource recovery in our food system. Previously, the Environment Work Group guided a pilot project to test an EPA-designed program to reduce food waste in households. The results from the pilot were encouraging, and now we are working to bring the message of food waste reduction to a wider¬†population. We are working with the Providence, Pawtucket, and Newport housing authorities, and with the Food Bank and the African Alliance of RI, to incorporate a version of the EPA program in their respective educational programs. We are excited that this program’s effects can ripple out to the wider community thanks to our “train the trainer” approach.

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