Aggressive organics bill passes Pacific Northwest

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Composting operations such as Dirt Hugger of Dallesport, Wash. could benefit from an aggressive organics diversion bill that was passed by the Washington Legislature this month. | Jared Paben/Resource Recycling, Inc.

Washington state lawmakers sent the governor a sprawling bill focused on diverting organics from landfills.

Bill of 1799 is taking a number of steps to reduce the landfilling of food scraps, yard debris and other organic material streams.

Bill sets statewide organics management goals, requires certain local governments to provide source-separated organics collection service, requires certain businesses to organize organics collection services organics, changes accountability standards to encourage more food donations, creates the Washington Center for Sustainable Food Management, increases funding for organics management, requires local governments to permit the location of composting operations, requires municipalities consider purchasing compost and amends labeling requirements for plastic and compostable products.

HB 1799 imposes a host of new requirements on local governments and businesses to reduce food waste, some of which mirror requirements posted online in California.

The Washington bill passed the state Senate with a 34-14 vote on March 3 and the House of Representatives with a 57-40 vote on March 8.

It was turned over to Governor Jay Inslee, who has yet to act on it.

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