Unlocking the Value of NYC's Food Waste

Urban centers around the world are recognizing that inedible organic wastes — primarily food waste — represent a major climate liability if they continue to be landfilled. That's because as these materials break down, they emit methane-rich biogases that are up to 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its global warming potential.

The good news is that if captured, biogas is a renewable resource that can be used to generate power, heat homes or — if refined and compressed — fuel vehicles.  Moreover, if separately collected and processed at anaerobic digestion facilities, the remaining "biosolids" can be used as nutrient-rich compost and soil amendments. 

This Clean Energy Connections event will introduce the topic of organic waste collection/recycling in NYC. It will also address options that exist to extract maximum energy and nutrient value from this abundant resource, and the opportunities and obstacles the emerging industry faces.

In NYC, great strides have been made since 2013 toward ambitious landfill diversion targets, but immense challenges (and opportunities) lie ahead. At this special reception, guests will hear from key New York players in the emerging organics recycling industry about: 

  • How our organic wastes can be turned into "biogas" fuel
  • How existing infrastructure can be utilized to produce and utilize this low-carbon energy source
  • Where composting fits into the picture
  • The importance of logistics and policy leadership