State Sen. Jen Metzger says it’s inevitable that more landfills will be needed but hopes a push for more composting of food waste will buy some time. “It’s going to have to happen,” Metzger, D-Rosendale, said of landfills at a Thursday press conference about environmental aspects of the state’s new budget. “[But] the more we can do to reduce waste and slow the process, the farther into the future we can push that.”
Metzger pointed out legislation adopted as part of the budget that’s aimed at requiring institutions that produce more than 2 tons of food waste per year to have a plan for disposal that includes composting. “They’ll be responsible for sorting that food waste, donating the edible food waste to food pantries … and then the inedible food waste, if they [operate] within 25 miles of an organic recycling facility, they have to compost,” she said.
“A whopping 40 percent of the food that is produced in the U.S. ends up in landfills while we have about 2.5 million New Yorkers … struggling to get enough to eat, including many children,” Metzger said.
“Food waste is over 20 percent of the content of landfills,” she said. “So it makes an enormous difference if we’re able to reduce that significantly.”