A bill introduced this spring, and the subject of a City Council hearing, would require DSNY to establish at least one organic waste composting facility in each borough between 2026 and 2027. “The goal is to generate more compost for local use,” Councilmember Sandy Nurse, the bill’s sponsor. “Compost is an important input for our local ecosystem. And producing that locally and using it locally is beneficial to the environment.”

More than a third of the city’s waste—36 percent—is suitable for composting, which turns food scraps and yard waste into a dark, nutrient-rich soil that can be used to fertilize plants. That’s good for the environment, since organic waste that’s thrown into a landfill gets suffocated by trash and as it decomposes, releases greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. Mayor Eric Adams says he is committed to diverting all organic garbage away from landfills by 2030, and sorting of this waste will become mandatory citywide this fall.

But right now, 80 percent of the food scraps and yard waste collected is being fed to wastewater treatment plants, where the organic material is broken down through a process called anaerobic digestion. A biogas, primarily methane, is extracted from the digested material and turned into energy to heat businesses and homes.

To read the full story, visit https://citylimits.org/2024/06/05/bill-seeks-to-boost-nycs-composting-capacity-with-more-borough-based-sites/.
Author: Mariana Simões, City Limits
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash