July 26 - NYC Expanding Organics Collection Program

New York City is moving forward with ambitious plans to implement organics collection and recycling citywide. Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced the plan earlier this year, calling organics recycling the "final recycling frontier."

According to a story in Waste & Recycling News, the NYC City Council is considering a proposal that would expand the current pilot program in Staten Island to no less than two boroughs and 30 schools. The program would begin Sept. 1. Ron Gonen, the city’s Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability is in charge of the program.

"Diverting a significant amount of our organic material would save the city tens of millions of dollars annually in disposal fees, generate a valuable organic fertilizer for parks and gardens, and generate local renewable energy via anaerobic digesters," Gonen said, according to a copy of his prepared statement.

There are over 200 organics collection programs in existence in the United States. Large cities such as San Francisco, Portland and Seattle have launched successful programs and proven that organics collection and recycling aren’t just for rural communities. Vermont and Connecticut recently passed laws requiring large generators of commercial food waste to recycle that material. Massachusetts is moving forward with a similar plan.

Food is the most prevalent item in the waste stream. Recycling this material instead of sending it to the landfill is a simple step that can have numerous positive effects, not the least of which is reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions from uncaptured Methane in landfills. Given recent reports about a growing food crisis, and higher than estimated Methane emissions, it’s time to seriously consider implementing organics collection and recycling.

Ton for ton, recycling reduces more pollution, saves more energy and reduces more GHG emissions than any other activity besides source reduction.

Find out more about the benefits of recycling organic material.

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