The city council of New York City has recently passed a Styrofoam food container ban and will also require those businesses that are considered substantial generators of food waste to compost their food scraps and organic materials.
The new law will be enacted in July 2015 and will prohibit food items, be it from a restaurant, deli, or food truck, to be packaged in polystyrene.
Polystyrene containers cannot be recycled in New York City, but organic and food waste can be, so the new legislation is seen as a big step forward in improving the municipality’s waste diversion and recycling rates. For those businesses classified as the largest food waste generators, organic material separation and composting requirements will also being in July of 2015.
The City of New York has a relatively low recycling rate compared to other cities in the United States and the administration’s strategic plan is to double the existing recycling rate to reach thirty percent waste diversion by the year 2017. The diverted food scraps and food waste will be used for both the production of compost and biogas. The move to enact the new regulations are seen as a way to reduce the city’s costs for waste disposal in landfills and help to bolster the growing “green jobs” movement in composting and biogas production and distribution in New York State.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Two of the biggest changes municipalities of all shapes and sizes are making are the moves to food waste diversion and banning the use of polystyrene containers. Even if these changes haven’t yet appeared in your community, be pro-active and start looking for alternatives now. Your customers will see you as a “green” leader and that can certainly help your bottom line!