Recommendations and Recap from Our 2014 Organic and Waste Composting Forum

June 30, 2015

Our third and final forum in our Dig Deep for a Greener New York policy forum series, focused on Organic Waste and Composting. Our panelists from a variety of organizations discussed different ways the city can make the most of composting and alternative methods on how to divert food waste from landfills.

After the forum, we got to work with the panelists and other experts to suggest concrete steps the city can take to make sure New York City is doing everything it can to make composting efficient and environmentally worthwhile. Today, we’re excited to announce the release of our paper highlighting our recommendations the city can act on. Download the whole report to get all the details.

Our key recommendations include:

  • Maximizing the use of anaerobic-digestion capacity at NYC DEP’s wastewater treatment plants.
  • Assessing the capacity of the city’s wastewater treatment system to expand on Newtown Creek.
  • Launching a pilot project to create exclusive franchise zones for commercial organic waste, giving new plants a long term supply commitment.
  • Considering measures to encourage the use of in-sink organic material grinders in appropriately targeted multi-family districts.
  • Establishing a “Save-As-You-Throw” system, which would provide an economic incentive for generating less waste, recycling more, and participating in community-based, centralized, or “in-sink” organics programs.

“Diverting organic waste is the key to achieving the City’s landfill reduction goals,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. “But it must resolve the severe need for more of processing capacity before further expanding organic waste collection.”

PlaNYC2030 set out an ambitious goal to divert 75 percent of our solid waste from landfills. With food making up 35 percent of all waste generated in New York City, composting represents a huge opportunity. More than 100 people showed up for this forum, where some new and exciting ideas were presented about how to make composting work in our city.

WNYC wrote a great article about the ideas presented by Councilmember Antonio Reynoso at our forum, and you can read more in our white paper. Don’t forget to check out the packed house on our Facebook page.

Click here to Download our Organic Waste Recommendations for NYC

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