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MSW Consultants, Maryland partner to provide organics technical assistance

April 5, 2018

MSW Consultants, Maryland partner to provide organics technical assistance | c5d5737d87c40ab380caac69b7e6a1f2

Source: Cody Boteler, Waste Dive

Dive Brief:

  • The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is partnering with Orlando, FL-based MSW Consultants to provide technical assistance and other waste reduction opportunity assessments to two yet-to-be-selected food processors or institutional food services provider, the firm announced.
  • The selected facilities will get free services from MSW Consultants, including a facility-wide audit to reduce food waste, help establishing a food waste tracking system, and a written report identifying food waste reduction strategies and opportunities.
  • Interested companies have until April 30 to contact MDE and MSW Consultants for the opportunity to be selected. Those selected will be expected to provide facility access and information to MSW. During the process, MDE will share resources and lessons learned through various communication methods to interested parties.

Dive Insight:

Food waste accounts for more than one-third of Maryland's waste stream, according to the consultants, so reducing it could go a long way toward cutting down on the state's overall waste output. Targeting large enterprises — like food scrap processors or institutional service providers — with the goal of replicable results could prove to be an effective way to make a significant dent in the tonnage of wasted food.

Maryland could prove an ideal state to try out such a partnership, too. At the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) workshop earlier this week, MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles, who opened the workshop, extolled the importance and benefits of different groups working together to meet different solid waste management goals.

"The basic point I want to underscore, is that it's great for individual states, and the private sector, and utilities and the waste managers and individual jurisdictions to be doing what they're supposed to be doing, but it's even greater when we have regional collaborations," Grumbles said.

And, while last year's move by Gov. Larry Hogan to cancel the state's "zero waste" plan lead to some head-scratching, Grumbles called the accompanying executive order "noteworthy... for the embrace of sustainable materials management."

While he did not lay out specifics, Grumbles did say "embracing composting [and] embracing materials management" are keys to acting sustainably, a goal for the state that he takes seriously.