NYC zero waste progress report gives updates on local AD

By Cole Rosengren, Waste Dive. 

Dive Brief:

  • Two years after setting a goal of "zero waste" by 2030, New York is reporting incremental progress and a new effort to "rethink garbage in groundbreaking ways that treat it as a resource for creating products, energy, and a greener city." According to its annual OneNYC update, the city achieved a 10.9% reduction (from a 2005 baseline) in residential refuse generation last year with a 16.9% diversion rate. The goal is to reach 90% reduction by 2030.
  • Switching to single-stream recycling by 2020 is seen as one way to reach that goal. The city reports that while progress is slightly behind schedule, a consultant's study is slated for completion this summer and they aim to begin capital improvements at the Sims Municipal Recycling facility by the end of the year.
  • Diverting organic waste collected from both commercial and residential sources is another key priority, though progress has been slower than expected on local processing infrastructure. Some vendors that were selected for long-term processing contracts are still making the necessary facility upgrades and the city's co-digestion project at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant is not yet fully operational. The city aims to be handling at least 100 tons of material per day at the digester - eventually scaling up to 250 tons - and start construction on a gas-to-grid project by the end of the year.