PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island lawmaker wants to phase in requirements that restaurants, college dining halls and grocery stores recycle their food waste.

Rep. Donna Walsh's proposal would require any business or organization that produces food waste to compost scraps or send them to a food waste processing facility.

The rules wouldn't apply to residential food waste — or to businesses or organizations located more than 20 miles from a processing facility.

The rules would be phased in gradually, first applying to large organizations like colleges which produce a ton or more of scraps each week. In 2021 the rules would apply to all businesses that produce food waste.

Walsh, a Charlestown Democrat, says food scraps waste landfill space and can be used as fertilizer and an energy source.

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