The Zero Waste program is a key component of "One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City" also known as OneNYC. Mayor de Blasio's ambitious commitment to achieving Zero Waste in New York City by 2030 outlined in OneNYC puts the city on a path toward long-term waste reduction and heightened sustainability. Led by the Department of Sanitation and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, the Zero Waste program emphasizes:
New York is one of the largest cities in the world to make a commitment to Zero Waste. The City is the first to commit to meeting at least 90% of the Zero Waste goal through a unique combination of waste reduction, reuse, recycling programs, and wastewater treatment plants using food waste for co-generation. NYC’s Zero Waste program relies far less on conventional waste-to-energy processing and instead emphasizes highest and best use of commodities and materials in the waste stream.
New York City's Zero Waste program has other environmental, environmental justice, and economic development benefits. The plan continues the City's commitment to reducing the impact of the waste management system on historically overburdened poor and minority neighborhoods in the South Bronx, North Brooklyn, and Jamaica, among others. By reducing the amount of waste transferred at transfer stations in those neighborhoods and developing a geographically dispersed network of waste reduction, composting, reuse, and recycling, the demands on overburdened neighborhoods will be less and as a result they will experience less air pollution. Additionally, reducing the cost of sending waste to out-of-state landfills will in turn reduce the use of taxpayer funds. Waste reduction and less truck traffic will improve pedestrian safety, respiratory health, and overall quality of life.