As expected, the city's Department of Sanitation will expand its organics collection program with a pilot program beginning in parts of Queens and Brooklyn. The voluntary program would equip homeowners with brown plastic bins designed to hold organic waste; the bins will be put out on collection day along with garbage and recycling. Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth will be guinea pigs to see if the larger city can handle the new program.
Last year the city spent $85 million sending organic waste to landfills, according to Deputy Sanitation Commissioner Ron Gonen. "That organic material can be converted to compost, which is an organic fertilizer that the city can sell," Gonen explained. "Or it could be converted into clean, natural gas." So far the program has diverted over 2,500 tons of food waste from the city's landfills and seeks to divert 75% of all waste from landfills by 2030. With new Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia wholeheartedly embracing this campaign, it looks to be well on its way to success.
The U.S. wastes approximately 430 billions pounds of food each year on a retail and consumer level. While these programs won't stymie waste at its source, perhaps we won't create new landfills and further foul the earth. Those parks are pretty dope though.