The Department of Sanitation's proposed expansion of the mandate to separate organic waste has us concerned about enforcement practices and the capacity to manage the additional materials appropriately.
Today the New York City Hospitality Alliance testified at a Department of Sanitation hearing on a proposal to expand the number of food businesses mandated to separate organic waste for composting. In New York City certain restaurants located in hotels and stadiums are required to separate their organic waste for composting. The Department of Sanitation has now introduced a proposal that would expand this requirement to more businesses. But the Department has not provided us with evidence that the haulers and processing facilities have the appropriate capacity to manage extra material.
The New York City Hospitality Alliance supports environmentally friendly businesses practices, but this proposal concerns us for other reasons too. We’ve received complaints from members covered under the current law who have experienced overly aggressive enforcement. In fact, one restaurant was fined hundreds of dollars because a single onion peel was placed in the wrong garbage. Until the city guarantees more reasonable enforcement that focuses on education instead of fines, and determines the impact that their separate, zone carting system would have on organic waste separation, we cannot support this mandate's expansion.