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Bloomberg wants NYC to compost

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You may think of him as the soda-banning, no-smoking-in-parks, please-ride-your-bike mayor of the Big Apple. But before his term runs out, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wants New Yorkers to compost their food scraps.

Following the progress made by smaller cities, such as Seattle and San Francisco, Bloomberg envisions a New York City that separates its food scraps, adding just one more step to the recycling process in the city. (Earlier this year, Bloomberg called this the “final recycling frontier” of New York City.) So far, pilot programs have gotten an unexpectedly high amount of participation, according to officials, which has the Bloomberg administration ready to roll out an ambitious plan to make this mandatory city-wide.

Soon, the administration will be announcing that they will be hiring a composting plant to handle 100,000 tons of food scraps per year. (This would represent just 10% of residential food waste in the city.) Next would come the search for a company to build a plant in New York to process the food waste into biogas, which would be used to generate electricity.

“This is going to be really transformative,” said deputy mayor, Caswell F. Holloway IV. “You want to get on a trajectory where you’re not sending anything to landfills.”

The residential program will be voluntary to start, but officials predict that it would become mandatory within a few years.

Image via Shutterstock

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