New York Plans Composting Program

Will save $100 million

Wasted food makes up a surprisi

Wasted food makes up a surprisingly large portion of landfill waste.     Photo: M. Glasgow/Wikimedia

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to roll out a composting plan for the city, aimed at preventing 100,000 tons of food scraps from reaching landfills every year. While the program will be voluntary at the start, it will become mandatory sometime after 2016.

Last April, 100 city restaurants joined a trial composting plan, and 150,000 households along with 100 high-rises and 600 schools will be on board by 2014. The goal is to have the entire city recycling food scraps by 2015 or 2016.

New York plans to divert up to 75 percent of its solid waste from landfills by 2020, and officials hope the composting program will move the city toward that goal. Food waste currently makes up a third of the trash collected in the city. The program is also expected to save the city roughly $100 million a year.

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