Earthjustice Statement: New York Legislature Expands the Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Program

The legislation to expands participation in the food donation and food scraps recycling program


Nydia Gutierrez,

Yesterday, the New York State legislature passed legislation to expand the state’s food donation and food scraps recycling program (S5331A Harckham/A5906A Shimsky). This bill will gradually scale down the annual average tonnage of food scrap generators that are required to join the program and expand coverage to food scrap generators within 50-miles of a food waste recycling center. Earthjustice calculates that, when fully implemented, this legislation will ensure that 99% of large food scrap generators outside of New York City will manage their waste in a sustainable and sensible way, increasing the amount of food waste recycled by 42%.

The following statement is attributed to Liz Moran, New York Policy Advocate for Earthjustice:

“With the climate crisis only growing more dire, no stone can go unturned to address every contributing factor — including food waste. An estimated 30-40% of food in the United States is thrown away. These food scraps, often perfectly edible, end up in landfills, where they decompose and release methane emissions. In fact, organic waste in landfills is the largest source of methane emissions in New York. Meanwhile, millions of New Yorkers face food insecurity and inadequate access to healthy foods. Earthjustice applauds the legislature for passing this legislation to expand participation in the food donation and food scraps recycling program, helping to reduce food waste and its associated greenhouse gas emissions while helping ensure that all New Yorkers have ample access to healthy, nourishing foods.

“We thank Assemblymember Shimsky and Senator Pete Harckham for their leadership on this important legislation, and we urge Governor Hochul to sign this bill and grow New York’s leadership in addressing food waste.”

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