Preserving the Environment

New York City Wants to Collect Your Leftovers

April 18, 2014
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New York City Wants to Collect Your Leftovers
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The Big Apple is expanding its pilot composting program to reach 70,000 homes.

If you live in Portland, Oregon, or Berkeley, California, you’re probably used to collecting your banana peels, eggshells, and coffee grinds in a plastic bag and putting them on the street corner for the city to collect. Residents of New York City will soon have the same joyful composting opportunity.

The New York City Department of Sanitation and Glad Products (of “don’t get mad, get Glad” fame) announced Thursday that they will be expanding their organic collections pilot program, according to CBS New York.

The program is voluntary and will reach 70,000 homes in the coming months. That means that brown plastic containers for organic food waste will appear on the sidewalks of Brooklyn and Queens in the near future. Anyone who chooses to participate can collect food scraps in their home and put them out on collection day. The pilot project will be introduced in the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Glendale, Middle Village, and Maspeth.

Deputy Sanitation Commissioner Ron Gonen told CBS New York that the city spent $85 million to transport organic waste to landfills last year. But he says the cost is worth it: “That organic material can be converted to compost, which is an organic fertilizer that the city can sell. Or it could be converted into clean, natural gas,” he told CBS.

An expanding compost pilot program is great news for all New Yorkers. Whether you’re a committed gardener looking for nutrient-rich fertilizer, or a father of five who hates tossing leftover food in the trash, the opportunity to throw organic waste into a bin on the street will be a welcome one. So start saving those banana peels.

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