Please sign this petition and tell the mayor that composting is essential to NYC.
The Mayor suspended compost pickup and community composting as part of painful cuts to the city budget in response to Covid19 losses. Compost pickup will be suspended immediately on May 4, 2020. The Mayor’s budget also cuts funding for community composting and Food Scrap Drop Offs, which could fill in for curbside composting suspension. Big Reuse’s community composting sites will be suspended along with other groups.
Damaging the environment should not be a cost saving measure - especially when the Trump Administration is suspending water and air pollution regulations. A Green New Deal should be the way we get back to work.
Save Community Composting and Food Scrap Drop Offs
DSNY funded community composting and Food Scrap Drop-Off programs should be funded next year to provide an option for New Yorkers to compost. Community Composting programs provide local low carbon composting and provide compost to community gardens and Parks. This program funds composting, environmental education and free compost distribution at Big Reuse, Earth Matter, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Grow NYC and all NYC Botanical Gardens.
Composting is essential
Curbside composting and Community Composting are an essential service like garbage and recycling pickup. Composting diverts 157 tons of organic material everyday from landfills. Landfilling organic material generates climate changing methane and food waste is the primary contributor to GHG emissions in landfills.
Extensive composting investment wasted
The City bought tens of thousands of bins for residents, worked with the Sanitation union to create new routes, invested in new trucks, made intensive efforts to promote composting, and has standing composting contracts. Cutting composting programs wastes the tens of millions in investments and ongoing contracts with unions and waste handlers and which can't be recouped.
Participation and trust lost
Getting New Yorkers to compost is a challenge. All the good will, trust and effort will be lost. After 9/11, NYC temporarily stopped recycling glass and plastic to save money. It reintroduced plastic recycling in 2003 and glass in 2004, but it took years for the capture rates to rebound to pre-9/11 numbers.
More sustainable solutions then cutting composting
1) Make curbside composting mandatory - this will increase participation and make the program more cost efficient.
2) Charge for garbage pickup and provide composting and recycling for free. Most cities around the country charge for collection - Pay As You Throw. Revenue would cover sustainability programs, reduce waste, and fees can be based on income. Independent Budget Office projects savings of $367M with pay as you throw.