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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 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.

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