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composting program new york citycomposting program new york city

New York City to Launch Pilot Curbside Composting Program

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We already knew that Mayor Bloomberg would be proposing a ban on plastic foam food packaging during his final State of the City address – but boom! – how about a pilot curbside composting program too?

“As we recycle more plastics, we’ll also tackle New York City’s final recycling frontier: food waste,” said Bloomberg. “We bury 1.2 million tons of food waste in landfills every year at a cost of nearly $80 per ton. That waste can be used as fertilizer or converted to energy at a much lower price. That’s good for the environment and for taxpayers. This spring, we’ll launch a pilot program to collect curbside organic waste from single family homes in Staten Island, for composting. If it succeeds, we’ll develop a plan to take it citywide.”

A city wide composting program would follow other successful initiatives currently underway in cities such as Seattle and San Francisco. But before the first banana peel hits a composting bin, some Staten Island officials were already moaning about how it won’t work.

“I think most people are not going to like it,” Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro told the Post. “I doubt if it’s going to be successful.”

Molinaro’s reason for raining on the composting parade boils down to the collection bins, which he clearly doesn’t get are separate from regular garbage bins.

“The DS (Department of Sanitation) truck comes, takes off the cover and dumps the garbage. That’s the end of the pail and the end of the cover,” he said.

The Post quoted a city official who said that the containers would be rigid with locked tops and collected separately. As for fears that people will be penalized for mixing organic and regular garbage, the city says no one will be ticketed for that common mistake during the pilot program. So basically – everyone calm down.

As for the other awesome environmental goals Bloomberg will reach for this year, they include:

  • Rewriting the building code so that 20% of spaces in new parking garages are wired for electric cars.
  • Installing two fast-charging (30 minute) stations in Manhattan
  • Purchasing 50 electric cars for the city’s municipal fleet
  • A ban on plastic foam food packaging
  • A new recycling plant that will accept items previously not allowed to be recycled

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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