Food waste legislation includes AD provisions

By Erin Voegele | December 11, 2015

On Dec. 7, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, introduced the Food Recovery Act of 2015. The bill, which aims to reduce the amount of food waste in the U.S., also contains provisions related to waste-to-energy development.

The bill outlines several policies that aim to reduce waste at various levels, including the consumer level, at farms, in grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and throughout the federal government. It includes several provisions aimed to accomplish these goals, such as requiring uniform labeling usage for sell-by dates.

Regarding energy, the bill aims to support food waste-to-energy projects at the farm, municipal and county levels while ensuring that edible food that could feed hungry people is not being diverted to energy production.

One provision of the bill would introduce new requirements for the use of Rural Energy for America funds supporting certain types of anaerobic digestion (AD) projects. Under the bill, recipients of a REAP loan guarantee or grant for the installation of an AD project would be required to supply the USDA with a written agreement with a hunger-serving food organization under which wholesome food, defined under a certain IRS regulation, generated by or provided to the recipient for use in the AD system is redistributed to the organization for provision to people in need of food.

The bill would also increase federal funding for AD systems that use food or crop waste to produce energy. A full copy of the legislation is available on Pingree’s website