Curbside Composting is Coming Back

Curbside Composting is Coming Back

The city’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announced last week that curbside composting, which had been put on hold during the pandemic, will be reinstituted for many city residents this fall.

While residents were automatically enrolled in the program in the past, those living in eligible neighborhoods who are interested in participating this time around will need to sign up online.

The service will initially be available to the 3.5 million city residents who lived in areas that previously had access to the service, and DSNY says the survey responses will be used to gauge interest and "tailor truck routes in the most efficient way possible." Service will resume on a rolling basis beginning in the fall and will be based on the number of sign-ups in each neighborhood.

“We are very happy to have received the funding needed to help restart our curbside composting program,” DSNY Commissioner Edward Grayson said in a statement. “This waste makes up about a third of what we throw out, and to move towards a zero-waste city, we need to put this very valuable material to beneficial reuse.”

But those living in neighborhoods that never had it—including much of northern and eastern Brooklyn—are still out of luck. And despite a push from environmental advocates, the program will not be made mandatory. Still, DSNY is asking New Yorkers who want to see the program in their neighborhoods to fill out the registration form anyway, because it will "help the Department possibly expand this service to additional neighborhoods."

Households located in areas with orange shading are eligible for the renewed curbside composting service. (Map: DSNY)

The curbside composting program, which began in 2013, collects food scraps, food-soiled paper products, and yard waste from city residents in thick, hard-sided, locking bins. Residents not eligible for curbside pickup can bring their food scraps to one of the 142 food scrap drop-off sites currently spread throughout the five boroughs. Food-scrap drop-off sites will further expand in the months to come.

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