New biogas policy gets approval from NYC city council

By Chris Hanson | December 26, 2013

New York City Council passed new legislation that would require large, food service establishments to recycle food scraps.

“This initiative is a significant step towards our NYC goal of diverting more waste from landfills,” said Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City. He added the initiative will aim to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions from waste disposal and produce biogas and soil amendment products.

The initiative echoed similar policies passed by other major metropolitan areas, such as San Francisco, Austin, Portland and Seattle and would build upon existing projects and infrastructure. Currently the city has organic resource collection pilot projects for schools and residences in place and some local haulers have already begun diverting organic waste.

“With the passage of this initiative, NYC is taking a bold and decisive step toward establishing a sustainable environment for its citizens. This move will benefit generations to come,” said Lori Scozzafava, executive director of the U.S. Composting Council. “The USCC works closely with our partner, the [American Biogas Council], the city and its businesses to make this new law an economic and environmental success. Our members have manufactured compost for decades and are prepared to lend their expertise as New Yorkers learn to manage their organic material.”

The legislation was expected to be signed into law by the end of 2013.