Plans to bring curbside composting to Bushwick by the end of 2018 have been temporarily put on hold.
The city’s Organics Collection Program makes composting incredibly convenient. Residents can separate their organic materials (including food scraps and yard waste) and conveniently set them outside for pick-up. If you’ve ever walked around other parts of Brooklyn you may have noticed small brown garbage bins that are used for compost collection. In areas where curbside collection isn’t available, DSNY has drop-off sites where residents can take their compostable materials, but that’s much less convenient.
Curbside collection is only available in 44 community boards across the five boroughs, and Bushwick isn’t one of them. The program was set to expand to all remaining neighborhoods by the end of 2018, but, last month, according to reports from the Gothamist, the commissioner for the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announced that the department will temporarily halt expansion plans while it figures out how to make the process more efficient.
“We believe that for the program to be successful over the long term we must ensure that New Yorkers are getting the very best service when curbside organics collection reaches their neighborhood,” said commissioner Kathryn Garcia during an NYC Council Meeting. “To achieve this, the city is evaluating its current service with the goal of increasing efficiencies and streamlining the program.”
The program is already the largest curbside organics collection program in the country, but there is room to streamline collection and increase engagement. Currently, 3.5 million residents participate in the Organics Collection Program and, on average, participants compost about 10.6% of their organic materials.
While it’s disappointing that Bushwick won’t get curbside collection this year, Sandy Nurse, founder and co-director of BK Rot, a composting service based in Bushwick, says that a temporary pause is the best solution if the program needs to improve efficiency.
“I think many people don’t have a full understanding of how great the volume of organic waste is in this city and the logistics behind it … to do it right and do it well is very hard,” explains Nurse.
So, what should you do if you want to get your compost on in the meantime?
And, if you want to learn more about what composting is and how to do it, check out these resources from DSNY.
Cover image courtesy of Neslihan Gunaydin