Packed House for Organic Waste & Composting Forum

Articles | December 11, 2014

PlaNYC2030 set out an ambitious goal to divert 75 percent of our solid waste from landfills. As food currently makes up about 35 percent of all waste generated in New York City, composting represents an attractive opportunity to save taxpayer dollars and reduce transportation impacts. Various composting pilot projects are underway in residential and school settings. But to truly reach an economy of scale and address challenges involving food waste, infrastructure needs to be developed.

On Wednesday, December 10th more than 100 people attended our Dig Deep for a Greener New York, Organics and Composting Policy Forum. Check out the packed room and the panelists on our Facebook page.

The first panel, featuring Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, Chair, Committee on Sanitation; Norman Steisel, President & CEO, Enessco Strategies; Tammy Gamerman, Senior Research Associate, Citizens Budget Commission; Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability, NYC Department of Sanitation; and Eric Goldstein, Senior Attorney, Urban Program, NRDC, discussed the role of organics and food waste collection in achieving New York City’s solid waste management goals. They also had an in depth discussion of the current limitations with the city’s pilot programs and explored potential policy prescriptions to encourage processing capacity closer to the city such as: pay as you throw, franchising, siting, longer contracts with private carters who haul commercial organics, and more.

Panel two, featuring Wayne Davis, Harvest Power; Helena Rose Durst, Vice President, Durst Organization; Christine Datz Romero, Executive Director, Lower East Side Ecology Center; Anthony Fiore, Director, Office of Energy,  NYC Department of Environmental Protection; and Kendall Christiansen, Gaia Strategies laid out specific strategies to scale up organics and food waste collection on both the commercial and residential side. The panel explored the potential and limits of a variety of strategies from in-sink garbage disposals to community composting and anaerobic digestion at the city’s wastewater treatment plants to process organics.

Read about some of the ideas presented in the WNYC article: This City Councilman Wants to Charge For Un-Recycled Trash.

Learn more by reading our white paper: Encouraging the Development of Processing Infrastructure for New York City’s Organics Waste Stream.

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