Students honored at State House for food scrap program

Students from Burrillville Middle School were recognized at the State House on Wednesday for their efforts to reduce food waste in lunch rooms by taking scraps to My Blue Heaven Pig Farm in Pascoag.

"I offer my congratulations to you for starting it off," said state Rep. Donna Walsh, D-Charlestown.

Walsh has sponsored a bill that would require businesses to divert food waste from the Central Landfill in Johnston and begin composting.

It would mandate companies producing more than 52 tons of food waste annually to participate. By 2021, every business would be included.

However, Rhode Island doesn't have large composting facilities to take on the demand.

"If we don't have the facilities, (the bill) will not go into effect until we have the facilities built, online and ready to go," Walsh said.

Some businesses like the Small Point Caf in Providence are already doing this.

"We just decided from the get go to limit (waste) as much as possible," said Anne Wolfe, of the Small Point Caf.

The caf, located on Westminster Street, composts almost all of its waste, but it's sending business out of state.

"As far as I know there no large scale composters in Rhode Island," Wolfe said.

For the bill to make a difference, composters need to come to Rhode Island. In the meantime, more creative composting will be celebrated, but not required.