NYC to Mandate Separation of Food From Trash

By Matis Glenn


New York City councilmembers passed a series of bills Thursday requiring residents to separate food and yard waste from the rest of their garbage.

The aim of the legislative effort, called the “Zero Waste Package,” is to minimize the amount of refuse disposed of in landfills.

Previously, Mayor Eric Adams announced a voluntary composting program, which is already available in Queens. These new laws, however, make separation mandatory, and add penalties for people who break the rules.

“This Zero Waste package will not only greatly expand accessibility to composting and recycling across our city, but will also make it easier for New Yorkers to incorporate environmental action into their routines,” Council Majority Leader Keith Powers (D-Manhattan) told the New York Post.

New “organic” bins will be designated for yard waste and food.

Adams is pleased with the legislation.

“This administration took office promising to get compostable material out of the black bags and out of the landfills,” a City Hall spokesperson told the Post. “We’re doubling down on what works, and appreciate that the City Council shares our commitment to fighting the rats and helping the planet.”

The Sanitation Department will complete preparations for the program in Brooklyn by October; the remaining three boroughs won’t have to be concerned with the new laws until next year.

Building and business owners will be slapped with fines if they do not comply with the rules, if they violate the mandate four times in a six month period – the same system which determines fines for recycling scofflaws.

Fines begin at $25 for the first over-the-limit offense, and are raised to $100 after the third such infraction.

Not all councilmembers were onboard with the new rules.

Councilman Kalman Yeger, a founder of the Council’s Common-Sense Caucus, was one of seven votes against the new law. “This is a perfect example of the Council getting in the way of common-sense,” Yeger told Hamodia. “Few New Yorkers have the physical space to store trash in a way that this bill would require. Even the Sanitation Department recognizes this is a bad law, and voluntary composting is a better way to go.”

Powers added a law to the package which will set up two locations in each borough for the collection of electronic devices, which can be recycled, but don’t fit the city’s current mandatory recycling criteria.

Councilwoman Sandy Nurse (D-Brooklyn), contributed a bill to the package requiring the Sanitation Department to provide data to City Hall detailing progress in lessening the amount of garbage brought to landfills.

Nosson, a Midwood resident, thinks that the laws are “just another cash grab from people out of touch with the daily lives of New Yorkers,” and that the city is “consistently making the lives of residents more cumbersome.”

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!