|Please share this tracker with your networks using the bitly link: bit.ly/NYCdropofftracker|
|FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)||FOOD SCRAP DROP-OFF & PICK-UP BEST PRACTICES|
|What happened to composting in New York City?||1. Because the US is far from getting over the pandemic, the best way to protect yourself and the people running the food scrap drop-off operations is to wear a face mask or cloth covering over your nose and mouth. Currently, most of these drop-off sites are contactless operations and utilizing best practices for social distancing. |
2. Most of these composting operations are run by small teams who work very hard to make sure food scraps are processed properly and have minimal to no contamination.
Avoid putting these items in with your drop-off: rubber bands, fruit stickers, staples, pet waste or litter, diseased plants, personal hygiene products, diapers, animal-based products (meat, fish, dairy, bones - unless otherwise stated), oily items, bags of any kind, industrial compostable products, etc. You get the idea! And if you are unsure, please reach out to the site(s) to confirm.
2a. If a site is closed or if you can not locate the bins, please do NOT leave your food scraps unattended on the sidewalk or outside of their site. Animals can tear into these bags and cause a mess, and we do not want to attract rodents to these sites.
2b. This is a friendly reminder that regular curbside recycling is still in place! Your green bin (cardboard and mixed paper) and blue bin (glass, metal, plastic, cartons) recyclables continue to be collected curbside. Please do not bring them to any food scrap drop-off sites.
3. Some drop-off sites prefer that you freeze your food scraps in advance, and then thaw it before dropping off. It can be quite tough to chop a whole, frozen mango or orange - I speak from experience!
4. Most of these on the list are nonprofits and/or 100% volunteer-run. Please consider donating if you are able so they can continue this important work while the city does not provide community composting for us!
|Since May 4, 2020, the DSNY suspended the curbside organics collection program due to COVID-19 related budget cuts. This left more than 3.5 million NYC residents who participate in the brown bin program without an alternative to compost their food scraps and organic waste. Part of the budget cuts included the 150+ food scrap drop-off sites (like the ones you see at the GrowNYC Greenmarkets).|
|What's being done to #saveourcompost in NYC?|
|In my role as an environmental justice activist and sustainability blogger @ahealthyblueprint, I have been supporting the Save Our Compost coalition to fight for composting for all New Yorkers.|
Most recently, we advocated to have $7 million in the city budget for fiscal year 2021. Hundreds of New Yorkers mobilized and called on elected officials to #saveourcompost; with persistent advocacy, we were able to get $2.86 million in the FY21 budget.
This is not the amount we were expecting, as this is still a 90% cut to the original composting budget of $27.5 million. This $2.86 million is the bare minimum to keep community composting operations going, as there are many passionate workers in the zero waste programs and composting space who were laid off as a result of this budget decision.
|So what do I do with my food scraps if I live in NYC?|
|While we do not have curbside organics collection through at least June 30, 2022, and a majority of food scrap drop-off sites are still closed, there have been a number of civil society members and organizations who have stepped up to fill the gap that the city has left.|
What is your impact to date with dropping off your food scraps at participating sites?
Check out We Radiate's website that summarizes organics collection by county and GHG estimates that are saved through your participation composting!
|What is this spreadsheet for?|
|This spreadsheet serves as a tracker for food scrap drop-off sites that are reopening during the pandemic, and is meant to serve as a public resource so New Yorkers can divert their organic waste from landfill and incineration. Over 1/3 of NYC residential waste consists of organic waste (DSNY 2017 Waste Characterization Study), so it is incredible to have these sites opening back up! As a view-only reader, you have the ability to create a temporary filter (next to the printer icon) to search by your borough and schedule on the second tab labeled "Food Scrap Drop-Off Sites".|
For those who are interested in residential food scrap pick-up services, I have also shared some options in the third tab.
|How often is this sheet updated?|
|I will try to update this tracker as frequently as I can! If there is a drop-off site that is missing that you know of, please utilize this form to submit a new drop-off site (credits to BK ROT for creating this form).|
Thank you to the Save Our Compost coalition member organizations and individuals, and all of you for your submissions and getting in touch with me!
If you are interested in hosting a food scrap drop-off site in your community, submit your details using this form and someone from the Department of Sanitation can help you get started!
|Where can I learn more about what's happening with composting in NYC?|
|Please follow @SaveOurCompost and @ahealthyblueprint on Instagram, and @SaveNYCCompost and @healthyblueprnt on Twitter for updates!|
|Where can I find a one-stop shop for learning about waste inequity, composting, recycling, and gardening resources?|
|Common Ground Compost and the NYU Trash Club created a Waste Inequity Reading list.|
The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) has published a wealth of educational resources in support of community composting. These resources (documents and videos) are available for FREE on the NERC website. Here are the steps to locate this information:
1. Visit nerc.org
2. Go to "Resources" and click on "Search for Resources"
3. Check off "Compost/Organics" and click "Search Now/Go"
4. Browse the many links that NERC has to offer!
Please note that NERC also offers information about other recycling topics, so definitely check out their website and share with your friends and family!
Also check out NYC Parks GreenThumbs' website for a fantastic toolkit to answer all your food growing questions!
|Sheet created and managed by Belinda Chiu, @ahealthyblueprint|
Feedback/corrections/updates: DM on Instagram @ahealthyblueprint