Every day, 24,000 tons of waste leaves New York City. A third of it is traditional recycling material—metal, plastic, glass, cardboard and paper—roughly half of which gets recycled. Another third is organic waste, but only about 1% gets separated; the bulk of it is transported to landfills an average of 300 miles away.

It is a huge missed opportunity, and one we cannot afford in an era of global warming. At landfills, the organic waste decomposes anaerobically, generating methane—a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.