New York City is on track to have one of the nation’s more widespread commercial organics diversion mandates in the latest sign of ambitious local policy to boost this growing sector.
Some of New York’s local haulers have been offering organics collection service to businesses for years – more since the original DSNY requirements took effect – but this latest proposal has received some resistance from industry associations.
During a November administrative hearing, both the National Waste & Recycling Association and New Yorkers for Responsible Waste Management raised concerns about servicing these new customers under the city’s existing rate cap, managing contamination challenges with post-consumer organics and the availability of reliable processing capacity.
As the state of New York also works toward implementing a parallel commercial organics diversion mandate there is hope from all parties that more local processing infrastructure will start to come online.
The New York State Restaurant Association came out in direct opposition for a variety of reasons, including the looming factor of citywide commercial waste zones set to be established.
DSNY’s latest proposal is also viewed as part of a steadily growing trend around the U.S. As described by a recent report from Harvard’s Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Center for EcoTechnology, such regulations are quickly “Emerging as a new and effective policy tool” to deal with the numerous detrimental effects of wasted food.
Aside from Austin, Texas – which now has universal commercial organics recycling requirements – New York City’s approach of classifying businesses by size rather than waste generation is relatively unique.