The problem of food waste in New York City went viral some years ago after a rodent was filmed on camera dragging a piece of what was possibly an uncooked Margherita pizza across the steps of the subway station. This is how people around the world came to know about Pizza Rat. Since it, the ranks of Pizza Rat have now been joined by Avocado Rat and Pretzel Rat.
In at least one large area of the city, rats that feed on food could become less and less frequent. The city that is the largest in the United States is beginning an equally huge organic waste composting scheme, that will transform the food waste and plant waste of 2.2 million people into soil for parks in the city as well as community garden, as well as biogas, a source of energy.
The Whole City Will Automatically Able to Benefit
The program located in Queens will be the very first instance that that a whole city will automatically be able to benefit from the service with no registration needed. The Sanitation commissioner Jessica Tisch calls the potential material in these bins the city’s “largest potential to divert garbage” from landfills.
According to Tisch she estimates that of the 24 million pounds of recyclables and trash taken from New York City residences each day, organic waste makes up for about one-third. In her estimation, only 1% this organic waste is disposed of in landfills.
This week the departments of sanitation (DSNY) trucks started moving through Queens to remove hundreds of thousands brand new brown garbage bins.
Barbara Alafogianis, a longtime Astoria resident and the owner of a house with two family members, believes it’s “long past due.” She started composting a few years ago, after she first saw drop-off bins in the neighborhood. “I believe it’s fantastic to be able to dispose of it in a manner that doesn’t contribute to the landfill,” she says.
The current curbside composting option is available only in the community boards located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx and the introduction of new neighborhoods has been put on hold “until further announcement” According to the city’s official website for the service.
New York Mayor Eric Adams elected in the last year, at first campaigned for citywide composting. But later halted the expansion after he said that it was not popular enough to justify the cost.
However, the conditions appeared to be perfect in Queens. For instance, residents living in western Queens such as Astoria have fought hard for an organic garbage program.
The pandemic was a considerable concern for Lou Reyes, a resident of Astoria has create. An Instagram account, along with his wife Caren Tedesco following the city shut down. Its food scrap collection program. The report, which goes by the name astoriapug, is the dog. So that is the senior of the couple and has been adopted as the campaign’s mascot. And posts updates on food scraps and partnerships in collaborating with farms around the city to collect it.
The City Hall to Keep Food Waste
Reyes states that it’s the first time he’s encountered a practical plan. By City Hall to keep food waste from the landfills. Previous curbside composting programs were more difficult to sign up for and required the approval of landlords.
“You do not have to submit forms. There is no requirement to fill out applications,” he adds. “So this is simpler. If it’s simpler to do, it’s more appealing to people.”
Additionally Eastern Queens large trees and yards make it. The ideal location to begin collecting leaves, grasses, and twigs says Tisch. The new program reduces cost by optimizing route selection, adapting the workforce. To cut down on the amount of overtime paid, and using trucks. So that have two distinct bins for trash and the other for organics. So that they can pick up both on one shift.