It’s the most Wonderful time of the year. The smell of someone always baking, the pretty lights, presents and who can forget all of the parties. Did you know you can compost all that party food waste? The city provides brown recycling bins to do so. You can put all of your food waste in there, like those unwanted fruit cakes. You can also put your leaves, plant trimmings and other yard waste in there. Once your bin is filled with various items, place it on your curb with your recycling. DSNY will pick it up and turn it into compost, which is a natural fertilizer for plants.
The program is expanding throughout the city. Through various efforts by the Organics Outreach Associates, they have continued to help expand the program and have had made some significant strides in the last few months.
One milestone in the expansion of the Organics Collection program has been expanding the amount of Public Food Scrap Drop-Off sites. In the past few months we have opened over 50 new drop-off sites throughout the 5 boroughs. The total number of drop off is now over 150 throughout the city! These drop-off sites allow members of the public who currently do not have access to their own Organics Collection bin to still be able to compost their food scraps.
These sites range from community gardens, religious intuitions and various nonprofits. One notable site is the Essex St Garden located in Brooklyn Community Board 5, Cypress Hills. It is currently the only Public Food Scrap Drop-off in that Community Board. The Essex St Garden is also sponsored by Michael Kors. If you know any site that would be interested in serving as a Public Food Scrap Drop-off please email Mara Moss- [email protected]
While Low Rise buildings (1-9 units) automatically receive the program, larger apartment buildings are encouraged to enroll in the program. When a building enrolls for the program a DSNY representative will reach out to either the Property Manager, Superintendent or Co-op board member to help establish the program at their building. Once the building wants the program we conduct a site visit to determine how many Organics Collection bins will be suitable for the building. In the past month there have been several buildings that have enrolled in the program, totaling about 9,000 units and giving about 14,000 more residents access to the program.
Currently the Curbside Organics Collection program is accessible to about half of the city. We are making sure those that have access to the program really understand it and we encourage them to participate! The outreach team has done door-to-door outreach most recently in Community Boards: BKN1, BX11, BKS6, QW5 and QE10. We outreach to 500-1000 households in each district over the course of 1-2 weeks. The teams talk to residents who are home about their participation in the Organics Curbside Collection program. Conversation points include encouraging residents to take the Zero Waste Pledge to reduce the landfilling of valuable resources and ensure they understand how to use the brown bin. The team also focuses on pop-up giveaways, presentations, and community events.
In the past month we have attended over 14 community events to promote the program. We have also partnered with local establishments in the community to do Compost Givebacks. During the Compost Giveback Events we distribute 500 1 pound bags of compost to the community. Doing this helps to bring the program full circle. By recycling your food and yard waste, we are able to give free compost to the community!
If you know any event you would like the Organics Outreach team to attend or a community group that would like a presentation on the program please email [email protected]