Thirty-one New York City businesses, including ABC Disney, Whole Foods and Anheuser-Busch, have committed to divert at least 50 percent of their waste from landfill and incineration by mid-June, as part of mayor Bill de Blasio’s Zero Waste Challenge.
The challenge is part of New York City’s plan to send zero waste to landfill by 2030. New York is the largest city in the Western Hemisphere to adopt such an aggressive waste-reduction target, according to Reuters. Los Angeles has a similar plan to cut waste by 90 percent by 2025.
Since the challenge started in February, participating businesses have already diverted nearly 13,000 tons of waste from landfill and incineration, including composting more than 4,000 tons. They have accomplished this through tactics such as modifying purchase practices, reducing packaging and switching to reusable materials or digital storage.
Some participants have stocked their offices with reusable coffee mugs or glasses in lieu of disposable cups and bottled water; another did away with filing cabinets and moved to a digital storage system.
The challenge also requires businesses that regularly have leftover edible food to donate it to a food collection organization to be used at shelters or food pantries.
The mayor’s office says the average diversion rate of all participants is 60 percent. Businesses are further challenged to step up their efforts and divert between 75 and 90 percent of waste, but this is not a requirement to complete the challenge, which ends in mid-June.
Participating businesses include: ABC/Disney, Anheuser-Busch, AppNexus, Barclays Center, Citi Field, Cleaver Co., COOKFOX Architects with landlord SL Green, D’Arrigo Brothers, Dig Inn Seasonal Market (1 location), The Durst Organization (8 buildings), EPA Region 2 office (GSA Building), Etsy, Great Performances Catering, Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island, Hyatt Place Flushing, Katzman Produce, Le Bernardin Restaurant, Le Pain Quotidien at 10 5th Avenue, Madame Secretary (Eye Productions Inc.), Martha Washington Hotel, Momofuku (Brooklyn location), Natural Resources Defense Council, RXR’s Starrett-Lehigh Building, sweetgreen (2937 Broadway), The New School, The Peninsula, The Pierre, The Waldorf, Top Banana, Viacom with landlord SL Green, and Whole Foods (Chelsea and Upper East Side locations.)
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