- The New York City Department of Sanitation issued new rules yesterday to extend the city's composting by requiring hotel restaurants, arenas (including Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden) and food wholesalers to recycle their food waste. It's part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's push to eliminate all waste being sent to landfills by 2030.
- The move is expected to divert 50,000 tons of waste a year away from landfills. The city eventually plans to expand the mandate to cover all restaurants.
- The rules will require businesses to separate their food waste from other trash and recycling and hire a carting company to compost or reuse it; or they can compost themselves on site. The city plans to formally adopt the rules after a public hearing in the fall, and businesses will be required to comply by a year later. Violators will face fines starting at $250 and rising to $1,000 for a third offense within a year.
The program adds to the city's existing voluntary compost pickup for homes in certain neighborhoods. At WASTECON, Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said that the city already has 225 community composting sites and 64 food drop-off sites. However, this program will more aggressively push the city toward zero waste.
"We think that together, these initiatives put New York City on the road toward zero waste, toward really having us think about it completely differently than we ever had before," said Commissioner Garcia at the conference.
Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, told the Daily News: "We ... caution against expanding the composting requirement to include small restaurants without the sufficient infrastructure available to manage the compost. We do not want yet another large cost imposed on small businesses."