Resource Recovery

image of Newtown Creek Digester Eggs

Circular Economy

DEP is advancing New York City’s circular economy by recovering energy and nutrients from NYC’s organic waste, including food scraps and wastewater. A circular economy is a system focused on reusing materials instead of discarding them, with the goal of recovering materials previously seen as waste. At our Newtown Creek Wastewater Resource Recovery Facilty, we process food scraps in our giant mechanical stomachs (digesters) alongside sludge. This biological process produces biosolids, which can be used as fertilizer and biogas, a sustainable energy source.

image of the gas-to-grid cycle

Diverting Food Waste from Landfills

food scraps being collected at a location in NYC
Food scraps are collected at various places in New York City.
tubing that says
The scraps are processed at a slurry manufacturing facility.
storage tank for engineered food waste at our facility
We receive the processed scraps and store them next to our digesters!

Foods scraps that go to landfills decompose and release methane (a potent greenhouse gas). At Newtown Creek WRRF, our giant mechanical stomachs are co-digesting the organic materials in wastewater AND in processed food scraps, allowing us to capture more energy AND reduce greenhouse gas emissions!

Read more about Closing the Loop: When Wastewater Treatment Becomes Resource Recovery.



We partnered with National Grid to convert biogas into clean, renewable heat. This innovative renewable energy project reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality.


Through the end of December 2023, we processed approximately 624 million pounds of organics at Newtown Creek WRRF that would have ended up in landfill and emitted harmful greenhouse gases. This process combined with gas-to-grid results in 117 percent fewer emissions than sending the organic waste to landfill.