Government Affairs

Organic Separation Requirements

In 2017 the NYC Hospitality Alliance informed you that the city’s Department of Sanitation introduced a proposal to expand the number of businesses that would be required to separate their organic waste for composting.


At the time of the public hearing for this proposal, the organic separation requirement applied only to certain restaurants located in hotels and stadiums. The proposal would have expanded the separation requirements to restaurants and food establishments of 7,000 or more square feet and chain restaurants with 50 or more locations.


The Alliance has been an advocate for and supportive of initiatives to reduce food waste. But at the hearing, we expressed concern about the size of the proposed expansion because of aggressive enforcement by the city (like the notorious fine they issued to a restaurant because one onion peel was in the wrong garbage pail) and uncertainty that the haulers and processing facilities would have the appropriate capacity to manage the extra material. After our advocacy campaign, we are happy to report that the final expanded mandate has been scaled back. We will also encourage the city to focus on an education campaign for businesses before they issue violations for non-compliance. We thank the Department of Sanitation for being considerate of our concerns in the final version of their regulation.


Originally Proposed Expansion of Organic Separation Requirements:


  • Restaurants and food establishments of 7,000 or more sq. ft.

  • Chain restaurants with 50 or more locations.

Final Expansion of Organic Separation Requirements:


  • Restaurants and food establishments of 15,000 or more sq. ft.

  • Chain restaurants with 100 or more locations.


This new requirement will take effect August 15th, 2018. Click here to read the rule.


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