About 30 New York City businesses, including big players and facilities such as Whole Foods Market, ABC, Barclays Center and Citi Field have agreed to cut the trash they send to landfills by half by June.
The “Zero Waste Challenge” is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to reduce New York’s waste output by 90 percent by 2030.
According to a press release:
“Our Zero Waste Challenge participants are leaders in their industries – and now they’re also leaders in sustainability,” said Mayor de Blasio. “In OneNYC, we made a major commitment to sending Zero Waste to landfill by 2030. We’re doing what we can to make recycling and composting as accessible as possible to New Yorkers, but everyone will need to do their part to make a more sustainable New York City a reality. These businesses are leading the way.”
Since the Challenge started earlier this year, participants have already diverted nearly 13,000 tons of waste from landfill and incineration (including composting over 4,000 tons), through tactics such as modifying purchase practices, reducing packaging, and switching to reusable materials or digital storage. For example, some participants have stocked their offices with reusable coffee mugs or glasses in lieu of disposable cups and bottled water; another did away with filing cabinets and moved to a digital storage system.
This Zero Waste Challenge comes ahead of the new commercial organics law which will require certain subsets of businesses to source separate food scraps and other organic material for beneficial use in 2017, as well as new commercial recycling rules that simplify the City’s current commercial recycling rules, making them easier for businesses to follow. Under these new Department of Sanitation rules, all businesses must recycle all recyclable materials.
“New Yorkers are already stepping up efforts at home to reach our Zero Waste goal,” said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “With the Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge, the new commercial recycling rules and other commercial waste initiatives, we aim to achieve similar results from our commercial waste stream. We have been pleased that in just a few months, Challenge participants have succeeded in cutting their waste dramatically. Through this Challenge we are learning even more about what it will take to meet our Zero Waste goals.”