NEW YORK (AP) — Some of the city's best known restaurants are pledging to slash their trash.
More than 100 eateries, ranging from haute cuisine restaurants to sandwich shops, have agreed to use composting and other techniques to cut down their landfilled food waste by 50 percent, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday.
The initiative joins other efforts he's made to reduce garbage in a city that generates 20,000 tons of it a day. Seventy percent of commercial food waste comes from restaurants.
"We're very hopeful that these first restaurants to take up our food waste challenge won't be the last," Bloomberg said at a conference on making cities environmentally sustainable, hosted by The New York Times.
Participants include the chic French restaurant Le Bernardin, the popular Japanese noodle shop Momofuku, and a slate of restaurants run by star chefs Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich. Restaurateur Danny Meyer's dozen New York eateries, including the upscale Gramercy Tavern and the Shake Shack burger joints, also are involved.
"Restaurants can play a crucial role in helping to reduce our city's food waste," Meyer said in a statement.
Some of the more casual eateries include 'WichCraft sandwich shops and the Pret-a-Manger cafe chain.
The restaurants will start by auditing how much waste they generate, then work to slice that in half. There's no deadline.
Bloomberg, who leaves office this year, has set a goal of doubling the amount of the city's waste diverted from landfills to 30 percent by 2017. He announced Wednesday that the city will now recycle rigid plastic items, such as shampoo bottles and food containers. That's expected to keep 50,000 tons of waste a year from going to landfills.