New state law uses food waste to feed hungry, sustain environment

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UNIONDALE -

A new state law will divert food waste from landfills and instead use it to feed the hungry and sustain the environment.

Whole sale and retail food providers will be required to donate edible food to community food banks instead of throwing it away when the law goes into effect in 2022. Food waste that is not edible will be diverted to an anaerrobic digester, which will turn the food scraps into biofuels.

Large food suppliers, including colleges and universities, will also have to divert their food waste.

Randi Shubin Dresner, of Island Harvest, tells News 12 that 2.5 million New York residents struggle with food security.

Island Harvest, an organization that collects and distributes food to thousands of Long Island residents, picked up 300 pounds of meat that would've been thrown out at a Stop & Shop in East Meadow.

Environmentalists say getting food out of landfills is a big deal because once the food breaks down it releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.

The first anaerobic digester on Long Island will be located in Yaphank and will convert 180,000 tons of food scraps each year into biogas.

American Organic Energy says even though the law goes into effect in 2022, the plant in Yaphank is scheduled to open by the end of 2020.

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