NYC schools to begin using compostable cutlery come fall
The city joins Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles in a transition officials say will cost “a faction of a cent more” than using plastic utensils.
New York City students will be eating a little greener come fall by way of compostable cutlery, the New York Post reported.
Alongside Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles, New York City will be part of a $34.8 million, five-year contract with Houston-based F&W Plastics to provide biodegradable utensils to schools.
Officials told the Post that New York will pay $14.6 million for its portion of the contract that will provide forks, spoons, knives, straws and napkin kits to roughly 1,250 schools across the city starting in the fall.
The Department of Education said that the utensils will cost “a fraction of a cent more” than their plastic counterparts, but “environmental benefits far outweigh the small extra cost.”
Students will be required to toss the new utensils in different bins than plates and food, but officials said that each cafeteria in the DOE system this year received a waste-sorting station that enables the students to separate liquids, recyclables, compostable items and trash.
The Department of Sanitation’s Organics Collection Program works with 700 schools to take the material to compost sites on Staten Island, upstate and in Delaware, where it is turned into dirt.
Compostable cutlery is reportedly a $30 billion industry.
For more coverage on Earth-friendly initiatives and environmental issues, pick up Metro's special Earth Day 2018 edition, hitting stands on Friday, April 20.