The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announced Aug. 4 that curbside composting, put on hold during the height of the pandemic, is being reinstituted for many city residents. Through participating in the program, DSNY says that New Yorkers can help keep their neighborhoods clean, reduce waste being sent to landfills, create compost for city parks, and produce clean renewable energy to heat homes.
While residents were automatically enrolled in the program previously, those interested in participating in the latest iteration of curbside composting collection will need to sign up online. The registration process will allow the DSNY to better understand who is most interested in participating in the program, and tailor truck routes in the most efficient way possible, the department says.
Haulers overseeing the curbside composting program will collect food scraps, food-soiled paper products and yard waste from city residents in a brown bin provided by DSNY. DSNY will collect these materials every week and turn them into a resource via compost or renewable energy.
“We are very happy to have received the funding needed to help restart our curbside composting program,” New York City Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson says. “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.”
The program is open to occupants of residential buildings of all sizes. While the service will initially be available to the 3.5 million city residents who previously had service, DSNY is asking everyone interested in curbside composting to fill out an online registration form to help the department decide whether to expand this service to additional neighborhoods.
Service will resume on a rolling basis beginning in fall and will be based on the number of sign-ups in each neighborhood. This will help ensure steady participation and make for efficient use of vehicles, the city says. Residents who participated in the past may use the same DSNY-issued collection bin they already own; those needing a new brown bin will have an opportunity to receive one before service begins.
The curbside collection program began in 2013 and expanded to serve 3.5 million city residents before the program was put on hold due to COVID-19.
Residents who are not able to participate in the curbside program but who want to put their food scraps to reuse may visit one of the 142 food scrap drop-off sites offered throughout all five boroughs. Additional food scrap drop-off sites will be opened in the following months.