1/15/14

Curbside Composting Comes to Bay Ridge

Will Bredderman Photo
Ms. Green and Mr. Blue, meet Mr. Brown.

Starting in April, single family houses and small apartment houses from 74th to 101st streets and from Shore Road to Seventh Avenue in Bay Ridge will get heavy-duty animal-proof brown recycling bins for their food waste as part of a city Department of Sanitation curbside composting pilot program.

Residents will be asked to separate their kitchen scraps just like they do their other recyclables. Composting leftover food, used paper plates, napkins, coffee filters, and tea bags will reduce the city's garbage stream and slash its landfill costs by $85 million a year.

That's where the environmental movement meets municipal finance.

The city will train, truck or barge the recycled organic waste to an upstate facility that will process it for free and sell it to farmers as fertilizer, or to an experimental digester on Newtown Creek where it will be used to generate burnable methane. The goal is to produce all the fuel the DSNY needs to power its fleet from the city's own organic waste stream, generating even more cost savings. 

The 18-month Bay Ridge pilot will provide private houses with 13-gallon bins and apartment buildings of up to 9 units with three or four 21-gallon bins and small kitchen collectors for tenants.

Residents can ask for more or bigger bins, and buildings of 10 or more units can ask to join the program.

Look for mailers and doorhangers from the city over the next few months with information about the pilot.

Participation is voluntary.

DSNY selected Bay Ridge as a pilot site because the neighborhood is an ace recycler.

The article from the Brooklyn Paper.

P.S. Like a lot of other stuff, composting has come a long way since the 1970s.

More from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

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