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Statutes Text

Article - Environment


    (a)    In this section, “person”:

        (1)    Includes:

            (i)    An individual facility owned or operated by a local school system;

            (ii)    An individual public primary or secondary school;

            (iii)    An individual nonpublic school;

            (iv)    A supermarket, convenience store, mini–mart, or similar establishment;

            (v)    A business, school, or institutional cafeteria; and

            (vi)    A cafeteria operated by or on behalf of the State or a local government; and

        (2)    Does not include:

            (i)    The aggregate of all school buildings and facilities in a local school system; or

            (ii)    A restaurant establishment that:

                1.    Accommodates the public; and

                2.    Is equipped with a dining room with facilities for preparing and serving regular meals.

    (b)    This section applies only to a person that:

        (1)    (i)    On or after January 1, 2023, generates at least 2 tons of food residuals each week; and

            (ii)    On or after January 1, 2024, generates at least 1 ton of food residuals each week; and

        (2)    Generates the food residuals at a location that is within a 30–mile radius of an organics recycling facility that:

            (i)    Has the capacity to accept and process all of the person’s food residuals;

            (ii)    Is willing to accept all of the person’s food residuals for recycling; and

            (iii)    Is willing to enter into a contract to accept and process the person’s food residuals.

    (c)    Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a person that generates food residuals shall:

        (1)    Separate the food residuals from other solid waste; and

        (2)    Ensure that the food residuals are diverted from final disposal in a refuse disposal system by:

            (i)    Reducing the amount of food residuals generated by the person;

            (ii)    Donating servable food;

            (iii)    Managing the food residuals in an organics recycling system installed on–site;

            (iv)    Providing for the collection and transportation of the food residuals for agricultural use, including for use as animal feed;

            (v)    Providing for the collection and transportation of the food residuals for processing in an organics recycling facility; or

            (vi)    Engaging in any combination of the waste diversion activities listed under items (i) through (v) of this item.

    (d)    (1)    A person that generates food residuals may apply to the Department for a waiver from the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.

        (2)    The Department may grant a waiver under paragraph (1) of this subsection if the person demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Department, undue hardship because of the following:

            (i)    The cost of diverting food residuals from a refuse disposal system is more than 10% more expensive than the cost of disposing the food residuals at a refuse disposal system; or

            (ii)    Other reasonable circumstances.

        (3)    The Department shall establish waiver application procedures to carry out this subsection.

    (e)    On or before December 31 each year, beginning in 2023, the Department shall report to the General Assembly, in accordance with § 2–1257 of the State Government Article, on the implementation of this section, including the impacts on waste diversion in the State.

    (f)    (1)    The Department shall issue a warning to a person who violates this section or any rule or regulation adopted under this section.

        (2)    After receiving a warning issued under paragraph (1) of this subsection, a person who subsequently violates this section, or any rule or regulation adopted under this section, shall be subject to a civil penalty, to be collected in a civil action brought by the Department, of:

            (i)    $250 for the second violation;

            (ii)    $500 for the third violation; and

            (iii)    $1,000 for the fourth and each subsequent violation.

        (3)    Each day a violation occurs is a separate violation under this section.

        (4)    Penalties collected under this subsection shall be distributed to a special fund, to be used only to finance incentives that encourage food waste reduction and composting in the State.

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