From Chipotle to high-end eateries like Le Bernardin, 100 New York City restaurants have agreed to cut the amount of food waste they send to the landfill in half through composting and recycling.
Bloomberg announced the restaurants would participate in the New York's first Food Waste Challenge, as part of the city's goal to divert 75 percent of solid waste from landfills by 2030. Reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills will also cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a press release from the Mayor, food waste comprises one-third of the city’s more than 20,000 tons of daily refuse and restaurants account for 70 percent of commercial food waste.The city provides resources to restaurants to help them teach staff about composting best practices and measuring the amount of waste diverted from mixed trash. The restaurants previously determined how much waste they generated to use as a baseline.
The program nicely coincided with the theme of this year's World Environment Day, which aims to bring attention to all types issues related to food waste. According to the United Nation's Environment Programme, organic wastes that could be composted are the second largest component of landfills in the U.S.