A composting pilot program that began earlier this year has hit its stride at the six month mark. The Mayor's Food Waste Challenge, which seeks to reduce food products in our landfills, announced that 2,500 tons of food have been saved from banishment to the outer boroughs.
Each year, 1.2 million tons of food waste end up in landfills at a price of nearly $80 per ton. In an effort to reduce greenhouse-gas producing landfill waste, the city partnered with over 100 restaurants, who agreed to alter their food disposal system so that unused food could either be donated to non-profits and food banks or turned into nutrient-rich, organic fertilizer. Though restaurants are the biggest culprits in food waste, similar programs like the Department of Sanitation's organic waste collection take compostable items from homes and schools, adding to the overall total.
The FWC is part of the city's larger initiative, PlaNYC, which seeks to divert 75% of all waste from landfills by 2030. It's a tall order, considering New Yorkers generate 14 millions tons of waste each year; half gets recycled, a quarter comes from civilians and the other quarter from businesses, offices and manufacturing. Together with programs like GreeNYC and the increase of online tools that reduce the need for printed paper, the plan is on track to meet its goal. Regardless, let's hope we keep the cute goats.