We applaud the Portland Press Herald’s endorsement of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s Food Recovery Act (“Our View: Food we throw away could help solve hunger,” Jan. 4). This legislation will offer 21st century solutions to ebb the rising flow of wasted food in our country.

Rep. Pingree’s bill offers practical solutions to achieve the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030. The Food Recovery Act creates incentives for farmers to donate to local food banks, amends the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act for businesses and addresses consumer confusion over sell-by date labeling.

The bill includes assistance for schools and institutions by revising the National School Lunch Program, increasing funding for the USDA’s Farm to School grant program and reestablishing the USDA Office of Food Recovery.

When spoilage prohibits the option of food donation, the act creates a series of incentives to expand the nation’s energy production and composting infrastructure.

At Agri-Cycle Energy, we combine the power of anaerobic digesters with Maine’s first de-packager – a machine that separates food waste from its containers – to develop closed-loop, zero-waste food disposal programs for area businesses and institutions.

The environment, and entities like Hannaford Supermarkets, Colby College, Whole Foods, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center and Massachusetts General Hospital are benefiting from this relatively new technology for North America.

At Exeter Agri-Energy, our facility in Exeter, Maine, we can process up to 20 tons of wasted food per hour. One ton of food waste offsets more than 15 passenger vehicles on the road per day. Currently we produce 23,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity daily, which on an annual basis can power as many as 1,000 households.

Imagine these results expanded nationwide. This is why Agri-Cycle Energy and our partners, Exeter Agri-Energy and Stonyvale Farm, enthusiastically support the passage of the Food Recovery Act.

Dan Bell

general manager, Agri-Cycle Energy