Saturday, January 19, 2013

Take Part In Carroll Gardens' Greenmarket Compost Winter Warrior Challenge

If you aren't already taking part in the Carroll Gardens Greenmarket GROWNYC Food Scrap Compost program, here is an added incentive to get you started. Sign up to participate in the Compost Winter Warrior Challenge. It couldn't be easier. Drop off your fruit and vegetable scraps on Sundays between 8Am and 1 PM, sign in ten times before March 31, 2013 and win a big of finished compost.

 If you don't have a garden, you can donate your bag to Carroll Park, where the compost will add nutrients for the plants.

Click here for details on how and what to compost.

 More and more people have been taking part in the city-wide Food Scrap Compost program. Since
GROWNYC launched the pilot in March 2011, one million pounds of food scraps have been collected! That’s one million pounds of food scraps diverted from the waste stream.

GrowNYC and Department of Sanitation NY celebrated this milestone by issuing the statement below:

Crazy for Compost: One Million Pounds Collected
Successful Joint Initiative by GrowNYC and DSNY Meets Growing Demand for Food Scrap Collection in NYC 

January 7, 2013, NEW YORK, NY – On Sunday, Emily Rubenstein, Assistant Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability at DSNY, City Council Member Brad Lander, Birdie NYC and GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen announced the collection of one million pounds of food scraps which have been diverted from disposal and redirected for composting via a free program at 21 Greenmarkets in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island operated by GrowNYC.

The initiative began as a resoundingly successful pilot program in March 2011 featuring seven collection sites funded by Speaker Christine C. Quinn and the New York City Council. Demand quickly grew as shoppers at GrowNYC’s farmers markets learned of and participated in the program.

As public interest in food scrap collection sites grew, so did the program. New Yorkers can now drop off fruit and vegetable scraps for composting while shopping for healthy, local produce. GrowNYC staffs ‘Sustainability Centers’ where the public can simply deposit the week’s food waste, such as apple cores and coffee grounds, into collection tubs. The scraps are then transported by GrowNYC or the Department of Sanitation to one of several local sites in the five boroughs where material is transformed into a fertile soil amendment for use in urban farm and gardening programs.

Food comprises about 17% of NYC’s waste stream. When this material is sent to a landfill it contributes to NYC’s disposal costs and creates greenhouse gas emissions. When composted, food scraps and other organic waste is transformed into a useful product that adds nutrients and improves the quality of soil for street trees, gardens and more.

GrowNYC’s commitment to composting is not a new one. The organization, has hosted a collection site since 1994 at its Union Square Greenmarket, organized by the Lower East Side Ecology Center.

The current program expands this and other existing, ongoing collections conducted by BIG!Compost (formerly known as the Western Queens Compost Initiative) and the Ft. Greene Compost Project.


Anonymous said...

I didn't think you could put citrus in a compost heap.

Becky said...

Hi Katia,
Do you have any information on the differences between this program and the new brown bins we all got at home? We're wondering if they are two different compost streams and where our compost is going. We could participate in either, so it would be nice to know which farm or garden our compost would be supporting. Thanks!

Katia said...

Hi Becky, I was wondering if the greenmarket would even continue composting if we all get brown bins here in the neighborhood.
I'll try to find out.

Becky said...

At the Carroll Gardens Greenmarket on Sunday, next to the rows of green bins for the GrowNYC compost, there was a table set up with a rep promoting info about the new brown bins. We asked her about the difference between the two programs. She said the GrowNYC compost goes to local farms and gardens, while the brown bins compost goes to industrial composting facilities (there is one on Staten Island) and the results are then sold. She also pointed out that the brown bins can accept more material – dairy, meat, and so on.

We like the idea of supporting local so we hope the GrowNYC program continues.

Katia said...

Thanks for the info, Becky.