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Bloomberg Composting Plan Aims To Require New Yorkers To Separate Food Waste

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A new proposal from Mayor Michael Bloomberg would eventually make it mandatory for New Yorkers to separate their food waste so that it can be composted, according to officials.

The New York Times reports Bloomberg's program-- which would have the city's sanitation department collect food scraps that residents put in brown curbside bins-- is modeled after similar food waste programs in San Francisco and Seattle.

The plan includes the hiring of a composting plant to manage nearly 10 percent of the city's residential food waste.

Additionally, the city hopes to hire another company to convert the waste into biogas, which would then generate power for the city.

“This is going to be really transformative,” deputy mayor Cas Holloway told The Times. “You want to get on a trajectory where you’re not sending anything to landfills.”

The Bloomberg administration pointed to the success of a recent composting pilot program in Staten Island, where 43 percent of residents participated.

While composting would initially be voluntary, officials say it would likely become mandatory by as early as 2016.

By that time, however, Bloomberg will no longer be mayor, and it will be up to his successor to reduce or expand the program.

Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio have both expressed support for the mayor's plan.

In April, Bloomberg announced rigid plastics could now be recycled along with regular plastics -- the city's largest recycling expansion in 25 years.

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