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NYC Restaurants Divert 2,500 Tons of Food Waste

From Environmental Leader, Published 26 November 2013

New York City restaurants have diverted more than 2,500 tons of food waste from landfills in the past six months, the Associated Press reports.

The food from 100 restaurants participating in the city’s voluntary Food Waste Challenge has been used as compost or donated to food banks.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to expand the program to hotels, stadiums and other large producers of food waste, the news agency reports. New York officials are working to launch a cloud-based software platform that will track waste and evaluate it for more efficient pickup or delivery.

Food waste currently comprises one-third of the city’s more than 20,000 tons of daily refuse.

New York is not alone in its efforts to reduce food waste. Starting in July 2014, large swathes of commercial food waste in Massachusetts will be converted into energy via anaerobic digesters, according to plans proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration. In August, Boston began piloting its first public composting program, inviting residents to drop off compostable food scraps for free at three city farmers’ markets.