New York City Might Make Composting Mandatory

Staff Writer
Bloomberg is slowly developing a plan to have every New Yorker recycle food waste

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Last February, New York City Mayor Bloomberg called food waste "New York City's final recycling frontier," and now, The New York Times reports, the city might follow the likes of San Francisco and Seattle and implement mandatory food composting.

According to The Times, the Bloomberg administration is working on proposals for a company to build a composting plant in the region to process food waste to generate electricty. Currently, the city is looking to hire a composting plant to handle 100,000 tons of food scraps a year (which is only 10 percent of the city residents' food waste).

Christine C. Quinn, City Council speaker and one of the Democratic candidates for mayor, says that a mandatory composting program should be in place by 2016, although composting will begin on a volunteer basis. "We’re going to lock it in," Quinn told The New York Times. "When New York makes composting part of everyday life, every other city will follow through. This is going to create an urban trend."

Of course, this isn't the first time Bloomberg has attempted to reform food policy in the city; his much-discussed soda ban is still working through the bureaucracy, as a recent appeal for the decision to overturn the ban just went to court a week ago. We imagine this move might spark some controversy, as residents and businesses may find composting time-consuming and inefficient. On the other hand, soda bans may be a new trend.

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