New York City Plan Works Toward Mandatory Food Composting
The New York Times is reporting on a new initiative in New York City to encourage wide-scale compositing. Led by the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the plan may eventually lead to mandatory composting throughout the city, following the surprising success of a limited voluntary pilot.
The Bloomberg administration plans to contract with a composting plant that is able to handle 100,000 Imperial tons of food waste a year, equivalent to about 10 percent of the city’s food waste. Further, the administration plans to build a plant in the Tri-state area to process New York City compost into biogas for energy. Although the residential composting program will be voluntary at first, officials expect to make the program mandatory a few years after implementation. If made mandatory, residents who do not compost appropriately would be subject to penalties.
The composting plan is expected to divert a large proportion of New York trash from landfills, saving waste management costs for the city. Although the future of the program is far from certain, especially with the end of Bloomberg’s tenure, both candidates for mayor have expressed support for the program.