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Solid Waste to Solid Gold

Sustainability Series Event, April 8, 2015

NYC Councilman Benjamin Kallos spoke about the East  91st Street Marine Transfer Station. Kallos went to San Francisco where officials shared with him the 30 bills that they initiated to get compost collecting started. Kallos has proposed several resolutions on important environmental issues, including reducing pesticide use in our parks, reducing  plastic bag use, reduction of antibiotic use on CAFOs and stopping Port Ambrose LNG Terminal. Info, www.BenKallos.com

Anthony Fiore, Director of Office of Energy at DEPNYC, said if we are going big with composting, we have to eliminate contamination. He explained how compost can best be dealt with if put through a wastewater treatment plant. Compost needs preprocessing, must be in a slurry and best put in at the end of the treatment process. Anaerobic gas is 66% methane. NYC’s 14 wastewater treatment plants are existing assets that could be used for anaerobic digestion of compost. 90% of DEP energy use is for wastewater. Dealing with compost that has been collected is a big issue and it will need to be approached from many different angles. DEP has started a demo at Newtown Creek and tours are available. Further compost collection by DSNY expands in August. Info, http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/home/home.shtml

Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner, Recycling and Sustainability, NYC Department of Sanitation said we need to reduce the refuse and get all to recycle. Do not overthink recycling, just do it. Recycled products are a commodity.
We have trucks and they are not full. NYC Housing Authority is going to start requiring their buildings to recycle. Manufacturers have to pay for recycling of e-waste as mandated by State law. In an electronics trial project the city was offering cages to buildings for collecting e-waste. They got 4,000 responses to the offer, indicating how interested people are to recycle. Go to Nyc.Gov/recycle for answers to recycling questions. Oil is a big problem for our sewer system so restaurants have mandatory oil collection. Household collection of oil is to be put in with the garbage. Recycling is mandated in public schools. Office buildings don’t have to separate recyclables for collection. Info, www.nyc.gov/recycle