Mayor's Food Waste Challenge

Posted on Company News, November 14th, 2013




We are excited to announce our participation in the NYC Mayor’s Food Waste Challenge! As part of an initiative to reduce the amount of organic waste going into landfills, Mayor Bloomberg has challenged NYC restaurants to commit to a 50 percent food waste diversion goal. At Le Pain Quotidien, we have accepted this challenge and are testing a composting program in four of our stores: Park Slope, Yorkville, Carnegie Hill and First Avenue. In addition to composting at these four stores, we divert food waste by donating leftover bread and pastries to City Harvest at all of our NYC locations.

Building participation in programs like composting is vital for the sustainability of the city’s waste management system. Today, NYC sends four million tons of waste to the landfill every year, almost a third of that being food waste. And, you guessed it, a majority of that waste comes from restaurants! In a landfill, food is deprived of oxygen and undergoes anaerobic digestion, producing methane as a byproduct. Methane is twenty three times more harmful than the carbon dioxide that would be produced if the food waste were to degrade aerobically in a compost pile.

Currently, approximately seventeen percent of the methane produced by the U.S. comes from landfills. If we could reduce the amount of waste diverted to landfills, we would not only be saving space and turning food waste into useful soils, but would also cut greenhouse gas emissions! It’s a win-win!


Image: Flickr, NRCS Soil Health