How to Help Save Composting in NYC (Updated June 2020)

On Friday, April 17th, the NYC Department of Sanitation announced that the curbside composting program would be suspended starting May 4, 2020 through at least June 30, 2021. This program served nearly 4 million residents in NYC, and the impacts since its suspension are palpable – see for yourself when you search hashtags #donttrashmyscraps and #saveourcompost on your social media platforms. People are angry, frustrated, and sad because without this essential program and without community composting options (the food scrap drop-off sites are also affected and will not reopen until at least June 30, 2021), many are forced to throw their organic waste to the trash, resulting in the harmful emissions of greenhouse gases when decomposing in landfills.

What I love about this great city is that we are persistent, determined, and passionate for the things we stand for. A coalition of organizations and civil society members came together save community composting programs in NYC, and anyone can participate as part of their civic duties.

Here is how you can help generate noise for the #saveourcompost movement:

Sign the petitions

Submit testimony to the City Council and Mayor’s Office by Sunday, May 24

You can submit your testimony three ways (helpful template here):

Share photos of your food scraps on social

If you’re like others in NYC determined not to let your food scraps go in the trash, your freezer may be getting pretty full. Share your photos of your freezer or trash can full of scraps with the following information:

  • hold a sign with your name, neighborhood, and the hashtags #saveourcompost and #donttrashmyscraps
  • tag the Save Our Compost account (@saveourcompost on Instagram, @SaveNYCCompost on Twitter), Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson on social

Contact your local representatives to ask for a city budget that includes $7 million for community composting

Reach out to your local representatives and let them know:

  • why composting is important to you
  • that $7 million to the city budget is a drop in the bucket to help ensure the NYC Compost Project and GrowNYC (and their incredible staff) can continue to help New Yorkers compost and recycle
  • that composting is essential to help NYC reach its zero waste goals
Photo Credit: Save Our Compost

Note: It’s important to recognize there are allies in the City Council, too! Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Keith Powers introduced the Community Organics and Recycling Empowerment (CORE) Act, legislation that would give New Yorkers in all five boroughs access to recycling and composting sites while curbside composting is suspended. Let’s celebrate these wonderful humans and support their efforts to help NYC achieve its zero waste by 2030 goals!

Now you have the resources to speak up for composting in NYC!

For more information on food waste, composting, and how our food choices impact the planet, check out the following posts: