A rule proposed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams would make composting mandatory, and NYC laws have a way of spreading to the rest of the state.

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According to a report by Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech for The Hill, Mayor Adams is proposing a rule change that would require New York City residents to set aside leaves, grass, branches, and other yard waste aside for composting.

The rule change is made in an effort to make New York City cleaner, and less rat-friendly. It would go into effect in various boroughs beginning this year and New York City plans to offer New Yorkers curbside composting service by October of 2024.

A Department of Sanitation Notice assured residents that the mandatory composting would not create a large burden for them, stating "Requiring  mandatory separation of yard waste is therefore straightforward; residents need not change their behavior other than to set yard waste out on the designated recycling day."

While this rule is only proposed in New York City, the rest of New York State has a tendency to adopt a lot of laws and rule changes put in place in the city. And while this rule change specifically is meant to target the city's excessive rat population, composting has a number of other benefits as well. According to the US Composting Council, composting can help conserve water, reduce waste, combat climate change, and promote healthier plant growth.

So while Upstate New York may not have the same rat problem as New York City does, there are a number of other composting benefits that could not only keep our local neighborhoods cleaner, but also play a small part in aiding New York's pursuit of ambitious climate change goals. If the rule proves successful in New York City, we could see it spread to other parts of New York State.

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