June 2013
BEVERAGE MEDIA
95
NEWS
FRONT
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MEMO FROM NYSRA
[New York State Restaurant Association]
FOOD WASTE SEPARATION:
NEW YORK’S NEXT HOSPITALITY POLICY TREND
Over the past decade, restaurateurs from around the country
have seen public policy initiatives including the smoking ban,
menu labeling and restaurant grading start in the Big Apple
and quickly spread across the U.S. and beyond. So what public
policy initiative can restaurateurs expect to be trending next?
New York City’s latest policy initiative affecting the hospitality
industry is reducing restaurant food waste from the sanitation
stream. According to Mayor Bloomberg’s office, one-third of
New York City’s waste is food waste, and 70 percent of the com-
mercial waste comes from restaurants.
New York City is facing this problem head-on by turning
it into an opportunity. In an effort to reduce organic waste and
associated greenhouse gases, the mayor’s office has initiated a
Food Waste Challenge to help meet NYC’s goal to reduce the
solid waste going into landfills by 75 percent over the next 17
years. Many restaurants have accepted the challenge by utiliz-
ing waste prevention strategies to reduce their outgoing landfill
waste by 50 percent.
As part of this city-wide
initiative, the NYS Restau-
rant Association has part-
nered with the City of New
York to develop a voluntary
program to assist its members
in reducing food waste by 50 percent, while also saving money for
members. The Association is working with restaurant operators
and sanitation service providers to develop strategies for waste
separation. While the initial, and easiest, focus is in organic com-
posting via separate bins, the Association and the City will be
exploring alternative methods such as dewatering machines and
other new technologies. The Association is also working with the
City’s Trade Waste Commission on an enhanced carting system,
including more frequent pick-ups, to support composting efforts.
The goal of the Association’s program is to move wet waste to
composts and develop a market for trash. This would eliminate
the need to pay for waste to be hauled from restaurants and ulti-
mately save the restaurants money.
“The NYS Restaurant Association has always committed to
helping restaurateurs reduce costs with the use of new technol-
ogy and programs through our Educational Foundation,” said
Rick Sampson, President and CEO of the NYS Restaurant As-
sociation. “The Food Waste Challenge is yet another initiative
to assist association members with this effort, while benefiting
the community and environment. The association is proud to
support the mayor in this important initiative.”
To learn more about the New York City Food Waste Challenge, visit:
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