New York City’s composting community has suffered severe setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated budget cuts. Now, when our city needs composting the most, three of the largest community compost processing sites are in jeopardy. We ask for your support to appeal to Mayor Bill DeBlasio to advocate for community composting and keep the Queensbridge Compost Site operational.
Copy and paste the letter below into this form to contact the Mayor: https://www1.nyc.gov/office-
Dear Mayor DeBlasio,
We are asking you to immediately renew the Parks license agreement for the Community Composting Site operated by Big Reuse under the Queensboro Bridge. We are asking you to allow Big Reuse to continue operating the community composting site that Big Reuse, DSNY and many volunteers worked many years to create. Their license agreement will end and the site may be evicted on December 31, 2020. The community composting site will be destroyed in order to create a parking lot.
As Mayor you championed Zero Waste. Renewing the license agreement for this model community composting site is a simple way to maintain that legacy.
The Big Reuse community composting site is essential to the City’s efforts to provide composting in the face of cancellation of curbside composting. The site is essential to establish food scrap drop-offs in every community district and compost locally to improve soil in parks, community gardens, and street trees. The Big Reuse community composting site composts Parks leaf and yard waste in addition to residential food scraps. The compost is given to Parks, GreenThumb and over 200 community groups. The site is a logical and appropriate use of Park land since it composts Parks leaf and yard waste and creates compost for Park’s mission to care for NYC’s public green space. Big Reuse has been composting under the Queensboro Bridge for a decade. The community composting site is recognized internationally as a model site.
With Covid related budget cuts to DSNY composting, community organizations stepped in to create local composting drop offs. Community groups like ours rely on the compost site to process the food scraps we collect. Through our partnership with Big Reuse, we are able to collect more food scraps for composting that would overwhelm our community gardens.
1000s of New Yorkers have come together in this effort - volunteering to create the composting sites and collect food scraps to compost throughout the city. Not renewing the license agreement will throw away our efforts along with the food scraps that we collect.
Parks controls over 30,000 acres and can easily provide space for community composting efforts. Parks controls extensive space under the Queensboro Bridge that could be used for claimed operational needs instead of the composting site.
In May 2019, NYC City Council declared a climate emergency which calls for an immediate emergency mobilization. The science is clear that when we send organics to landfill, it turns into methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Composting locally reduces transportation and methane emissions and sequesters carbon dioxide with compost application. Composting locally means we are not polluting other communities - we are greening our community by improving the urban forest, local food production, green spaces for schools and neighborhoods.
Big Reuse’s site composts 1 million lbs of food scraps and 300,000 lbs Parks yard waste every year. Parks wants to throw the site and these organics away because they claim composting is not their responsibility. Please advocate for community composting and keep the Queensbridge compost site operational.