Some commercial properties will have to take part in a large-scale diversion of organic waste, according to a bill recently passed by the New York City Council.
Many food-related establishments are covered by the law, including food manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants of a certain size. It will likely impact around 5% of restaurants, but would capture more than 30% of the organic waste generated by restaurants in the city.
Covered establishments must engage in at least one of three alternative methods of organic waste disposal, with the end result including composting, anaerobic digestion, or another approved method.
- Arrange for separate collection of organic waste by a private carter.
- Transport organic waste to an approved facility in-house.
- Perform the landfill diversion methods on-site.
Establishments must also provide separate bins for organic waste and post a sign that provides information on how the establishment handles such waste.
The law will go into effect July 1, 2015. Implementation may be delayed if there is an insufficient number of appropriate processing facilities near the city. Establishments will be allowed a six-month grace period, during which enforcing agencies can only issue warnings.
With organic waste composing about one-third of the city’s solid waste, the law is projected to make major strides towards the city’s 75% waste diversion goal.