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Need help? Think Zero LLC is here to help, we offer compliance assessments and will help you develop and implement new programs to meet your waste goals and bring your business into compliance with all of NYC’s commercial waste rules and regulations. Contact us for more information. 

NYC is Expanding its Commercial Organics Rules- find out if your businesses is impacted:

The second phase of the commercial organic waste program is coming this year with the City updating the rules to cover an additional set of food retail, restaurant, and grocery businesses. Beginning in 2018, the expanded rules will cover the following businesses known as “designated covered establishments”:

  • Restaurants with a floor area of at least 15,000 square feet
  • Chain restaurants with 100 or more locations in the City that operate under common ownership or control, are individually franchised outlets of a parent business, or do business under the same corporate name
  • Food retailers having a floor area space of at least 25,000 square feet

Businesses will be required to separate and send their food waste for beneficial uses (i.e., composting, animal feed, meat by-products to a rendering company, anaerobic digestion, or food donation) or to process it on-site using in-vessel composting or aerobic or anaerobic digestion systems. Designated covered establishments may no longer send organic materials (food waste and other organics) to landfills or incinerators where it becomes a wasted resource.

If you’re a food retailer or restaurant required to divert food and organic waste under these new rules, there are some simple steps you can follow to implement food waste diversion when the rules go into effect later this year.

To comply, businesses have three main options: hiring a BIC-approved private carter offering organic waste collection, self-transporting collected food scraps and organic waste to an approved facility, or processing the food waste directly on-site through composting or anaerobic digestion. 

Additionally, any excess fresh ingredients, packaged and shelf-stable foods, or surplus prepared foods can be donated to several food banks and food rescue organizations across the city. Restaurants and food businesses can legally donate food to non-profit organizations and are protected from liability under the 1996 Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. Donate surplus, edible food and ingredients to local organizations, such as City Harvest, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Food Bank For New York, or Rock and Wrap it Up!

Enforcement of the rules will begin in 2019 giving affected businesses one year to plan for the expanded rules. 

There are two options for commercial recycling, depending on the private hauler your business is contracted with: source-separated recycling, or single-stream recycling. Speak with your waste hauler to find out which type of recycling they support. 

Is your business compliant with NYC’s Commercial Waste Rules and Laws?

Commercial recycling rules in NYC mean that businesses may need to make some changes to their waste management processes in order to get into compliance with the rules and avoid fines. Property owners and building management must notify tenants, at least annually, about the recycling and waste management policies of the building, including whether the building has a source-separated or single-stream recycling program. Policies must be compliant with NYC rules and a copy of the building's notification must be available upon request by Department of Sanitation enforcement officers. 

All businesses must recycle metal, glass, plastic, beverage cartons, paper and cardboard. Certain businesses are required to recycle other types of materials such as textiles and yard debris: