Why do commercial businesses in Brooklyn, Queens, and Lower Manhattan start food waste diversion programs?

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Boro-Wide has been collecting food waste for composting and anaerobic digestion since 2003. Each year, our customers in Western Queens, Lower Manhattan, and Northern Brooklyn divert over 8,000 tons of organic material from their trash. Some of these customers have achieved Zero Waste by diverting 90% or more of the material they discard. We also have a cohort of customers that do not compost but have a lot of organic material in their trash.

The question now is, “What motivates a company to set up a successful food waste diversion program and why do other companies with similar waste streams choose to keep everything in the trash?”

To help address these questions, our team members at Boro-Wide have broken down the four general motivations for implementing food diversion programs for our customers below.

  1. Have To + Want To’s understand that food shouldn’t be left to waste, that operating food waste diversion programs help meet New York City’s Climate Goals, and that it saves them money. We anticipate that currently, 10% of our organic diversion clients are in this category.
  2. Have To + Don’t Want To’s come in many different shapes and sizes. In Boro-Wide’s customer base, they are sometimes an owner of franchised fast-food restaurants subject to NYC Local Law 146 which requires all businesses with a common name and more than 100 locations in New York City to divert food from trash for private hauler collection. The good news is that many franchise owners eventually embrace the composting requirement after two or three visits from the New York City Department of Sanitation’s Enforcement Division. We anticipate that currently, 10% of our organic diversion clients are in this category.
  3. Don’t Have To+ Want To’s (Climate Motivated) understand that food waste diversion is a tool to use against climate change. They are motivated to operate food waste diversion programs that are operationally successful because the environment depends on it. Their intermediate storage bins for food waste are regularly cleaned and are well-maintained. Contamination issues are low, such as non-food waste items like glass, metals, and plastics (unless the business owner wants to introduce tableware that is designed to be composted). We anticipate that currently, 10% of our organic diversion clients are in this category.
  4. Don’t Have To + Want To’s (Money Motivated) understand that food waste diversion is a tool they can use to save money because it is less expensive for them to send their organics for composting/anaerobic digestion than it is to send their organics to the landfill. They are motivated to operate food waste diversion programs that are operationally successful because their bottom line depends upon it. We anticipate that currently, 70 % of our organic diversion clients are in this category.

In truth, most of Boro-Wide’s clients are likely a combination of all four categories (often depending on the day). However, regardless of what their motivations are, we encourage all of our clients to jump on the organic diversion bandwagon with us. Regardless of whether you are a new or established customer, please call one of our TRUE Advisor-certified team members to help you customize a food waste diversion program that will work best for your business or commercial property.

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Joining forces to bring you the best in waste management

We’re excited to announce a strategic partnership between Mr. T Carting and Boro-Wide, uniting two leaders in waste management to improve your service. Our current payment systems will remain separate for ease of use, with a joint portal planned for 2024.

Your trust is our priority, and we’re dedicated to a smooth transition. For any questions, our customer support team is here to assist. Thank you for your continued support in this new chapter!

Queens Central Commercial Waste Zone starts September 3rd. Current customers will receive no service interruptions.