The Massachusetts Commercial Food Waste Disposal Ban: A Case Study of the Effectiveness and Implementation of the Ban and the Waste Stream for Colleges and Universities
Abstract: This thesis assesses the effectiveness and implementation process of Massachusetts' Commercial Food Waste Ban, with particular emphasis on the influence of the ban on the waste generated by colleges and universities. This thesis considers the ban's overall effectiveness in increasing food waste diversion, the large-scale benefits to society as a result of the ban, and its influence on a ... read moreparticular category of waste generation. It reviews academic literature as well as government and nonprofit reports on food waste, data on waste generation and diversion in Massachusetts, and analyzes stakeholder interviews. The waste stream for colleges and universities is highlighted through four case studies with colleges and universities of different sizes, locations, and management of dining operations. Since the implementation of the ban, the amount of food waste diverted in the state has increased, as has the infrastructure to support diversion, successes that can partly be attributed to the long stakeholder process as part of developing the ban. Colleges and universities throughout Massachusetts have not necessarily adopted food waste diversion practices since 2014, when the ban was made effective, as many institutions throughout Massachusetts began implementing diversion practices well before the ban was officially enacted. The results of the ban have however provided resources to support further development of food waste reduction and diversion goals at the college and university level and have benefited some stakeholders in the processing of food waste. The main areas for improvement are to increase resources for enforcement of the ban to ensure that generators out of compliance are aware of their behavior and can take the steps to rectify their actions, better understand the impact of the ban on other categories of food waste generators, particularly those in the food processing, manufacturing, and distribution sectors, and to assess the role of source reduction in complying with the ban.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2018.
Submitted to the Dept. of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.
Advisor: Penn Loh.
Committee: Timothy Griffin.
Keywords: Public policy, and Agriculture.read less
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