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MDE Invites Public Comments on Proposed Food Residuals Regulations


Screen capture from Maryland Department of Environment Online Map of Organics Recycling Facilities

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On September 23, 2022, the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) published a regulatory proposal to establish new regulations under the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.04.13 Food Residuals - Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion.


The proposed regulations implement the new food residuals diversion requirements under a Maryland law that the Maryland General Assembly passed in 2021. That law requires, beginning January 1, 2023, certain persons who generate large quantities of food residuals in Maryland to separate their food residuals from other solid waste and divert them from landfills through reduction, reuse, and recycling activities.


Anyone interested can access the proposed regulations, as published in the Maryland Register, summarizing the proposed regulatory changes. A Compliance Guide for Small Business is also available describing how a small business can comply with the new requirements, including recordkeeping and waiver conditions, if the proposed regulations are adopted and become effective. More information about the law is available on MDE’s website.


MDE will accept comments on the proposed regulations through October 24, 2022. Visit MDE’s Land Regulations Public Hearings & Request for Comments webpage for information on how to submit comments.


Still Have Questions?


There are two upcoming opportunities to learn more about the new food residual recycling requirements that will take effect January 2023.

  • MDE Webinar on October 4, 2022

MDE is hosting a webinar that will go over the food residuals diversion requirements of the law, discuss who the law applies to, and outline how food residuals can be diverted. This webinar will be held using google meets.


Webinar Joining Information

Date and Time: October 4, 2022, 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Google Meets Video Link: https://meet.google.com/byy-mrec-nwk

Google Meets Phone Dial In: +1 (561)-408-9073 PIN: ‪824 353 116#

Having trouble joining the day of the event? Call 410-537-3314


One of the panel topics slated for the 2022 Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference is Handling Food Waste: Organic Waste Reduction, Diversion, & Rescue Efforts in Maryland. This panel will feature Shannon McDonald and Timothy Kerr, from the Land and Materials Administration of MDE and main drafters of the proposed regulations, to discuss details of Maryland’s Food Waste Law planned implementation. Ava Richardson, Sustainability Director for Baltimore’s Office of Sustainability, will also speak about the law’s anticipated impacts on existing efforts by local governments to promote food waste reductions and administer community programs. The panel will touch on ways agricultural producers may participate and benefit from food recovery and waste diversion systems.


The conference is scheduled for October 28th from 8 AM-3 PM at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Annapolis, MD, with virtual and in-person attendance options. You can register on the ALEI website at www.umaglaw.org.


Have questions or are interested in getting more information about the conference? Feel free to reach out to our ALEI Coordinator Ryan Zimmerman @ rzimmer7@umd.edu or (301-405-1271).

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