July 31 - NYC's Ambitious Campaign: Recycle Everything

Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to advance his ambitious goals for recycling in NYC. This week he launched the ad campaign: "Recycle Everything." The campaign is designed to encourage New Yorkers to increase their recycling rates and coincides with plans to extend the city's organics recycling program, which was piloted in Staten Island.

The voluntary organics recycling program will be extended to five boroughs and according to Waste & Recycling News, participation where food waste collection is offered exceeds 50%. In areas not included in the pilot program, a group is offering to accept food waste to create compost that will be used in community gardens.

NYC recently expanded its recycling program to include all rigid plastics and the newly launched Re-Fashion program collects clothing and textiles for recyclilng. The city is also set to launch an expansive electronics recycling program. Electronics will be banned in residential trash beginning in 2015.

These ambitious policies will save at least $60 million in taxpayer dollars and have a significant environmental impact, making them the type of investments we need to secure the city's future, said Bloomberg.

Recycling organic material creates real environmental benefits, since food is the most prevalent item in the waste stream. When food waste is dumped in a landfill, it creates Methane, which is a Greenhouse Gas 25 times more powerful than Carbon Dioxide when it is released into the atmosphere. When organics are recycled under controlled conditions, such as in an anaerobic digester, it creates renewable energy and a great source of compost that can be used to benefit local agriculture. Organics recycling also creates jobs that stay local as organic material is not shipped overseas for processing.

Find out more about the benefits of recycling organics.

Photo Credit: Peter DaSilva/NYTimes

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