Mayor de Blasio recently introduced a proposal that would require all commercial-sized food establishments, vendors, manufacturers, and wholesalers to separate organic waste material. As part of the mayor’s One NYC Plan, the ambitious initiative would drastically reduce the amount of food scraps and other organic materials, which currently make up one third of the city’s commercial waste. Instead of being shipped to landfills, the organic waste would be converted into compost or used as feedstock for producing clean renewable energy through anaerobic digestion.
Under the proposal, which is estimated to divert 50,000 tons food waste from landfills per year, certain NYC food service establishments would be required to separate their organic waste. The outline cites four main categories of food service: hotels with 150 or more rooms, food vendors in arenas and stadiums with at least 15,000 capacity, food manufacturers with a floor area of at least 25,000 feet, and food wholesalers with at least 20,000 square feet of floor area.
The mayor explained the importance of the proposal in creating a sustainable NYC: “Building an environmentally just, sustainable New York City that’s resilient for generations to come will require participation from all New Yorkers,” he said. “The commercial establishments in today’s proposal are already recycling plastics and metals, and by additionally recycling organic material, they will significantly contribute to reducing our City’s waste stream – leading the path to send Zero Waste to landfills by 2030.”
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