We've already been over why you should compost, although now it turns out that you may not be able to. Participation in the two-year-old pilot program was already somewhat low, and in October, the Delaware plant responsible for processing New Yorkers' organic waste was shut down—now, many of those lovingly separated foodstuffs are just going straight to the dump with everything else.

The Peninsula Composting Group in Wilmington apparently bit off more than it could chew when it came to accepting New York's detritus, a particularly nasty panoply that included stuff like old meat and bones and eggs, in addition to straight garbage. According to WNYC, it was shut down in October following an impassioned public hearing, with neighbors insisting that the plant had all but destroyed the quality of life of those forced to live in its vicinity:

By the state's account, Peninsula was overwhelmed. Regulators found equipment that was not working. Non-compostable residue pulled from the food and yard waste, such as plastics, metal, and plain old trash, were piled up on site above approved levels. There were standing pools of leachate, the cloudy, smelly, liquid that often trails garbage trucks. There were fires.

Part of the incentive for New Yorkers to compost was the ability to use plastic bag liners to hold their waste, cutting down on the "ick" factor that tends to discourage people from participating. Turns out those plastic bags were cumbersome for the plant to process and had no small role in shutting it down.

In the meantime, Sanitation is sending New York's compost to smaller operations, though those facilities are not able to process it with the same appetite as Peninsula. The rest is going to landfills.