New York's composting effort last week hit a milesone: 2 million pounds of food scraps dropped by off residents at Greenmarkets throughout the city.
At the drop-off centers, the public can deposit the week's food waste, such as apple cores and coffee grounds, into collection tubs. The scraps are then transported by GrowNYC or the Department of Sanitation to one of several local sites in the five boroughs, where the material is transformed into renewable energy or compost, a fertile soil for use in urban farm and gardening programs.
The composting program was signed into law last month by Mayor Bloomberg. Food comprises about 17% of NYC's waste stream. When this material is sent to a landfill it contributes to NYC's disposal costs and creates greenhouse gas emissions. When composted, food scraps and other organic waste is transformed into a useful product that adds nutrients and improves the quality of soil for street trees, gardens and more.