EPA to renew ICR on AD facilities that process food waste

By Erin Voegele | October 27, 2020

The U.S. EPA recently published a notice related to the proposed renewal of an information collection request (ICR) that gathers data about anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities that process food waste.

The notice explains that sustainable management of food (SMF) is a systematic approach that seeks to reduce food waste and its associated impacts over the entire lifecycle of food. The lifecycle includes use of natural resources, manufacturing, sales, consumption and final decisions on recovery or final disposal. According to the EPA, diversion of food waste from landfills is a critical component of that effort.

To effectively divert food waste from landfills, the EPA said that sufficient capacity to process diverted materials is required, much of which is provided by anaerobic digestion facilities.

The agency’s SMF work, in part, helps to build partnerships with state agencies and other strategic partners interested in developing organics recycling capacity and provides tools to assist organizations in developing AD projects.

According to the notice, the nationwide collection of data about AD facilities processing food waste began in 2017 with a survey of all known AD facilities under the currently approved ICR. The EPA published its first annual report of findings based on that data in mid-2018. A second annual report was published last year. EPA said it renewing the ICR in order to continue to monitor growth and evaluate trends in the capacity for processing of food waste and the amount of food waste being processed via AD in the U.S.

Data collected through the effort will be distributed to respondents via email and will be available on the EPA’s AD website. Participation in the data collection effort is voluntary. The agency expects to ICR to impact 254 respondents, including project developers, project owners or plant operators, and livestock farmers.

A public comment period is open regarding the notice through Oct. 29. Additional information is available on the Federal Register website