Article - Environment
(a) In this section, “person”:
(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 1, 2023, and each December 1 thereafter, 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.