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How the NYC compost pilot program works

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg called composting the "final recycling frontier" and with that the NYC Organics Collection Program was born.

Good Day NY asked Ron Gonen, Deputy Commissioner of Recycling and Sustainability, to explain how composting works.

In high-rise buildings, every apartment gets one of these (a counter-top bin.) You can put your food waste into a container, when it gets full, you go to the room on your floor where your recycling goes and put the waste into a container. From there, it is taken to a compost facility," said Gonen.

Food waste, leaf and yard waste and all soiled paper can be placed in the bin.

"It can be turned into compost—an organic fertilizer—or it can go to an anaerobic digestor that can convert food waste into clear, renewable electricity," said Gonen.

New York City spends $100M exporting food waste to other states.

"We have an opportunity to save money and the environment."

The pilot program is in place in several buildings. It will be expanded to all five boroughs over the next two years.

"At that point, we’ll do an analysis for the next phase of expansion," said Gonen.

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