NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Jessica Tisch announced the launch of Queens’ curbside composting program last August, and after its success the program will now be expanded throughout all five boroughs.
The curbside composting program was introduced to all residential buildings in Queens this past October, providing weekly collection of compostable materials including leaf and yard waste, food scraps, and food-soiled paper products.
The program, which is currently on pause for winter, kept nearly 13 million pounds of food and yard waste out of landfills in just three months according to Mayor Adams–that’s more than the weight of 300 city buses!
Now, the curbside composting program will be extended through all five boroughs by 2024, Mayor Adams announced on Thursday, January 26, during his State of the City address.
The announcement is part of Adams’ effort to “Get Stuff Cleaner,” by providing clean, high-quality public spaces, but the program will also work to keep NYC’s rat problem at bay, which is the worst it’s been in over a decade.
According to the city, composting has the potential to break down thousands of pounds of organic waste and discarded food items that attract rats, thus a borough-wide composting program will hopefully make the city’s rat czar’s job much easier.
The program is currently voluntary and as of now plans to remain that way, though commissioner of the Sanitation Department Jessica Tisch reportedly stated in an interview that the agency was talking about the possibility of mandating it in the future.
“Clean, safe neighborhoods will power New York City’s recovery, and innovations in composting, recycling, and collection will secure our future,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch. “The Department of Sanitation is essential to building the comeback New Yorkers deserve.”
The program will resume in Queens on March 27, and launch in Brooklyn October 2, followed by the Bronx and Staten Island on March 25, 2024, and lastly Manhattan on October 7, 2024, according to The New York Times. It will be the country’s largest one.
The program will cost $22.5 million in the 2026 fiscal year–which is the first full fiscal year it will be running citywide. The city will also have to spend $45 million this fiscal year to buy new trucks that will be used to collect the compost.
“We’re going to ‘Get Stuff Cleaner’ by launching the country’s largest curbside composting program. By the end of 2024, all 8.5 million New Yorkers will finally have the rat-defying solution they’ve been waiting for for two decades,” said Mayor Adams.