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NYC Expands Plastics Recycling, Launches Food Waste Challenge

New York City has put two initiatives into effect to improve its waste and recycling efforts. The first is an expansion of its recycling program to include the recycling of all rigid plastics, including items such as toys, hangers, shampoo bottles, coffee cups and food containers.

The expansion of plastics recycling, which began last week, is part of the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan and is made possible, in part, through a partnership with SIMS Municipal Recycling. SIMS’ recycling facilities are equipped to handle this broad range of plastic recycling, according to the city.

The recycling expansion is expected to result in more than 50,000 additional tons of waste a year no longer ending up in landfills. It will also save taxpayers almost $600,000 each year in export costs, says Mayor Bloomberg.

Citizens will receive mailers that describe the expansion of the recycling program, and landlords and homeowners will get new labels for their recycling bins, according to the Huffington Post.

Mayor Bloomberg also announced the Food Waste Challenge, a new program aimed at reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. The initiative is expected to help meet NYC’s goal of diverting 75% of solid waste from landfills by 2030.

More than 100 restaurants will participate in the challenge, including: Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group, Blue Hill, Chipotle, Cleaver Co., Juice Generation, Le Bernardin, Momofuku, Pret-a-Manger, Union Square Hospitality Group and ‘WichCraft. They have pledged to reduce 50% of the food waste they send to landfills through composting and other waste prevention strategies.

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.

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