In late May, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed HB 264, a bill mandating organics diversion. The measure requires covered entities generating at least two tons of organic waste per week to arrange for disposal alternatives, such as reduction, donation, animal feed, composting, or anaerobic digestion, by January 2023. In 2024, the mandate expands to generators of one ton per week.
Maryland has pushed for these types of laws in the past and attributes the success of this bill to heightened attention to food insecurity during the pandemic and growing concern about climate change. A 2019 Maryland Department of the Environment report estimated there were nearly 4,000 businesses generating one ton or more of organic waste per week. Similar laws will soon be implemented in states like New York and New Jersey, and already exist in states like California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.