New York City will expand a pilot food-waste-to-energy program this fall.
The program, which launched last summer, diverts food from the waste stream and converts it into natural gas, Capital New York reports. The city expects the program to avoid about 90,000 metric tons of CO2.
Waste Management separates the uneaten food from the rest of the trash it collects.
During the pilot program, the city has processed between 1.5 tons and 2 tons of food waste daily. This will increase to 50 tons a day under the expanded program. The city hopes to eventually process 250 tons daily.
The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenpoint, which processes the waste, could process up to 500 tons or 15 percent of the city’s residential organic waste, the newspaper reports.
In New York City’s other food-waste reduction efforts, its restaurants diverted more than 2,500 tons of food waste from landfills between May 2013 and November 2013. The food from 100 restaurants participating in the city’s voluntary Food Waste Challenge was used as compost or donated to food banks.