With only four days remaining in 2013, the New York City Council passed path-breaking legislation requiring commercial food scraps from the largest food service establishments to be recycled. The new “Commercial Organic Waste” policy continues the momentum of similar state-wide policies requiring food waste recycling passed in Vermont and Connecticut and initiatives in cities like San Francisco, Austin, Portland and Seattle. Expected to be signed into law in early 2014, Mayor Michael Bloomberg noted that “[this] initiative is a significant step towards our NYC goal of diverting more waste from landfills” intended to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions from waste disposal. “Nationally, this will bring attention to one of the easiest steps cities and states can take to improve the environment and economy: require organics in the waste stream to be recycled just like everyone should recycle glass, metal, paper and plastic.”
NYC’s extraordinary action will be a shot of adrenaline to the growing on-site digester, biogas, and compost industries which are ready, able and willing to manage organic wastes as a resource. This policy fulfills a fundamental next step in forcing companies to define proper waste management strategies for those generating large amounts of food waste that can no longer be sent to landfills. On-site aerobic digestion is one of the more progressive and reliable technology solutions available on the market today. Products like the Eco-Safe Digester handles food waste at the point of generation with no residual food waste to store or transport while converting food into net new water. It is that simple and that easy.
Combined with the City’s recent adoption of a law establishing organic resource collection pilots from schools and residences, building on the install base of on-site digesters already implemented in dozens of locations, and the initial efforts by local haulers to begin the process of diverting organics, Intro 1162 extends the City’s intention to divert thousands of tons of food scraps from disposal in distant landfills to a range of better, local options.
With the passage of this initiative, NYC is taking a bold and decisive step toward establishing a sustainable environment for its citizens. BioHitech America is working closely with more than two dozen commercial food waste generators and the City to promote the use of the Eco-Safe Digester in order to ensure the economic and environmental success of this important legislation. Frank E. Celli, CEO of BioHitech America’s Eco-Safe Digester commented, that “we are prepared and available, anytime to lend our expertise to New Yorkers and their businesses in order to help them set up a process to manage their organic material properly.”