Food makes up around 20 – 30% of NYC’s waste stream. As opposed to sending that food waste to landfills, composting transforms garbage into nutrient-rich soil. Composting is the process of decomposition, in which organisms break down organic material until only the beneficial soil remains. This is a natural waste management technique that diverts food waste from the landfill, where the food would decay in the absence of oxygen, creating greenhouse gas methane.
Composting provides a way to not only reduce the amount of waste, but to also convert it into a product that is useful for gardening, landscaping, or house plants. In a sense, this process closes the loop in our food waste system.
Implementation Plan We will be putting out the compost bins during our floor’s Wednesday snack time. We will collect, weigh, and then transport the compost to a drop-off at the Borough Hall Greenmarket on Thursday. Since we will be transferring the compost bin a day after the compost is collected, we intend to freeze the food scraps in our floor’s communal freezer overnight.
Volunteer Opportunities We also plan to schedule volunteer sessions at composting sites in New York City and Brooklyn. The LES Ecology Center has Monday morning volunteer opportunities at their East River Compost Yard in which you can spend a morning sifting through food waste, chopping up scraps into small chunks, and much more hands-on fun! Red Hook Farms also runs a volunteer program for composting on weekends. From these service events, we hope to get a first-hand experience at how our food scraps are transformed into soil.
Resources for Composting in NYC