- The Washington Times - Monday, June 17, 2013

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has ramped up his regulatory push in his final days of office and has a new endeavor — another one — to bring about a city filled with healthy people: food waste recycling.

Food waste is “New York City’s final recycling frontier,” he said, during his State of the City address earlier this year, as New York Magazine reported. Now, he’s taking action.

Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway IV said in a New York Times article that Mr. Bloomberg’s office is in the process of hiring a composting plant that’s capable of processing up to 100,000 tons of food waste each year. That’s about 10 percent of food scraps that come from city dining tables, the article stated. In order to make the plan work, though, residents have to comply.

Residents are being pushed to add a new bin for food to their recycling pile. That voluntary participation will change to mandatory by 2015 or 2016, New York magazine reported. Fines could be imposed on New Yorkers who don’t separate out their scrap food, the magazine said.

Candidates for the office — Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio — said in the report that they would keep in place the recycling mandate if elected.

“This is a rotten idea for the Big Apple,” said Jeff Stier, the New York City-based director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Risk Analysis Division. “We live in a big city, not on a farm, and while composting is a great idea in certain circumstances, it doesn’t make sense to mandate that all New York residents save their rotting food.”

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“Consider the increased risks from disease-carrying vermin (a problem the city still hasn’t conquered), from all of the pre-compost material sitting around our dense living spaces, not going out with the trash each night,” added Mr. Stier, joking as to whether the extra compost trucks will be “carrot-peel powered” to cut back on emissions.

Mr. Bloomberg’s other regulatory measures for a healthier populations: bans on supersize sodas, crackdowns on trans fats, targeting of headphone-wearing teens for loud music and pressure on hospitals to hide the newborn baby formula so mothers will breast-feed.

• Jessica Chasmar contributed to this article.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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