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New Regulations on Composting Operations, Anaerobic Digestion Facilities Now in Effect

New Rules Broaden Composting Categories, Streamline Permitting Process

DEM today announced it recently amended regulations on composting facilities and recycling of food waste. The amendments, under Solid Waste Regulations Number 1 (General Requirements) and Number 8 (Composting Facilities), follow a new composting law that took effect earlier this year.

The new regulations include a tiered structure for composting based on the quantity of waste handled: small-scale operations are permitted to have up to 25 cubic yards of material on site at any given time and are not required to register with DEM; medium-scale operations have between 25 and 600 cubic yards of material on site at any given time and must register with DEM by completing a simple, one-time registration form. Large-scale facilities have greater than 600 cubic yards of material on site at any given time, and are required to renew their registration every three years.

DEM worked closely with the Rhode Island Food Policy Council to develop the regulations governing small- and medium-scale composting operations; new categories are included that aim to promote small-business growth as well as composting in local communities: leaf and yard waste, putrescible (food scraps) waste, and other organic waste.

The regulations also include, for the first time, a permitting process and standards for anaerobic digesters - which are used to decompose organic material. The amended regulations are available at

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  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online:
  • Release date: 05-24-2016

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