Will New ‘Smart Compost’ Bins Expand to Bushwick?

For many of those living in Bushwick, composting, and specifically the lack of accessibility to it, is a hot topic. That’s why some ears may have perked up earlier this month, when the news broke about the new smart compost bins popping up in Astoria and parts of Lower Manhattan.

These orange compost bins, which sit on sidewalks and resemble city trash and recycling bins, give residents the opportunity to drop off compost whenever they please. Unlike city trash and recycling bins, however, these compost bins are locked shut and are currently only accessible to those with a key, which New Yorkers can sign up for here

Currently, there are 16 compost bins located in Astoria, which, according to Vincent Gragnani, the press secretary for the New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY), are part of a pilot program to assess the potential of the program. A similar pilot was launched by Alliance for Downtown New York in Lower Manhattan.

“As this is a pilot program, we will assess at the end of the fiscal year to see if expanding to other parts of the city would be feasible,” said Gragnani. “We are certainly interested in expanding these bins to other parts of the city if we find that they work well.”

Gragnani also explained that part of the reason that Astoria was picked as the guinea pig location for the new program is that the neighborhood is a densely populated area that does not currently have curbside composting collection. 

Many living in Bushwick would argue that this neighborhood also fits that description. But, for now, all that Bushwick residents can do is wait and see how successful the program is. If the new orange compost bins are popular, chances are we will begin to see more of them popping up.

Also this month, the city’s curbside compost pick up program returned to several Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Industry City, South Slope, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace. 

The best way to get the program to Bushwick is to express interest here, according to the DSNY. 

“Due to budget constraints, we are resuming service on a rolling basis, designing smart routes in areas where signups are most concentrated to minimize greenhouse gas emissions,” Gragnani told Bushwick Daily for a previous article

Currently, all Bushwick residents are encouraged to drop off composting at local community sites. A list of where you can drop off compost is available here.

Featured image: provided by DSNY

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