NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Jessica Tisch announced yesterday, August 8, the launch of the nation’s largest curbside composting program starting this fall.
Beginning October 3, all residential buildings in Queens will receive weekly collection of compostable materials, including leaf and yard waste, food scraps, and food-soiled paper products. This is the first time the entire Queens borough will receive this service, and considering Queens alone is home to 41% of NYC’s street trees there isn’t a better borough to choose!
“Starting this fall, we’re bringing guaranteed, weekly curbside composting to the entire borough of Queens – taking action to keep our streets clean and simultaneously fight climate change,” said Mayor Adams.
DSNY Commissioner Tisch added, “Mayor Adams tasked us with developing a new program that would be effective, affordable, and equitable. We looked at what had worked in the past, as well as what hadn’t, and developed a smart, innovative solution that is going to be easier for the people of New York City, harder for rats, and better for the planet.”
What makes this composting initiative better than previous composting projects is that new extreme routing efficiencies have been developed at the lowest cost-per district of any curbside program to date.
Another difference is that there is no sign-up required for this new program. Residents can simply set out their waste on the assigned day–all scheduling info can be found here–and DSNY will pick it up.
Composting helps the environment in a number of ways. When waste decomposes at a landfill, it creates methane, a potent and dangerous greenhouse gas. Separating compostable material from household trash is one easy way to ensure a cleaner, greener city, and about one third of the city’s residential waste is compostable.
Composting also improves cleanliness as rats and other pests feed on organic material in trash bags, and compost bins make it more difficult to access that material.
This weekly service will begin October 3 and run through late December. After a three-month pause for winter–when there is little to no yard waste to be collected–service will resume in late March 2023.
The Adams administration also today announced the placement of 250 new “smart” composting bins this fall, building on the small-scale pilot of these bins that began in late 2021.
These sealed composting bins will be on publicly accessible streets throughout all five boroughs and can be opened via a smartphone app. A special emphasis will be placed on areas in Manhattan above 125th Street, the South Bronx, the North Shore of Staten Island, and Central Brooklyn.