Composting is coming to Community Board 6!

Composting is coming to Community Board 6!

Two years ago, the Department of Sanitation began a composting pilot program in a few neighborhoods around the city. Today I’m happy to share the news that the pilot has been so effective, it’s getting expanded again, this time to all of Community Board 6.

That means composting is now available in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, the Columbia Waterfront, and Red Hook.  And starting in two weeks, organics collection will start in Park Slope (now including streets north of Union) and Gowanus (now on both sides of the canal). To see if this new area includes your home, check out the map on the Department of Sanitation website.

Sanitation will collect all food scraps (including fruits and vegetables, meat, bones, grains, and prepared foods), food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings from the new curbside bin twice a week on your normal trash day. Your organic waste will be composted and become fertilizer for gardens, parks, and street trees. Organic waste accounts for a third of all garbage created in New York City, so composting will really help reduce how much we send to the landfill. 

Participation in the pilot program is completely voluntary so nothing will change with your collection if you decide not to take part. But it is also very easy to get started, and I hope you choose to participate. Here is a quick breakdown of how it works:

This month the Department of Sanitation will deliver the materials you need to start composting:

  • In Columbia Street Waterfront District, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook, organics collection started earlier this week! If you haven’t already, in the next few weeks you’ll be receiving brown organics collection bins, a kitchen food-scraps collector, and a mailer explaining how you can get started.
  • For neighbors in Gowanus and North Park Slope, collection starts the week of October 26. Your bins and starting kits will soon be on the way too. Look out for deliveries and a mailer coming in the next few weeks with the info and materials you need to get started.

One you’ve received your bin just follow these steps:

  1. Collect food scraps and food-soiled paper in your kitchen.
  2. Place food scraps into your brown organics bin.
  3. Set out brown organics bin for DSNY collection on your normal trash schedule. Set out extra yard waste next to the brown bin in lawn and leaf bags or unlined containers.

The brown organics collection bins and starter kits are delivered to all single family homes and residential buildings up to nine units and collection will start twice weekly according to the schedule above. If you live in a building with nine units or less and have not received a bin by mid-November, you can request a bin using this link. If you live in a building with 10 or more units, you should inquire with the Department of Sanitation about how your building can participate. For more information on the organics collection pilot program, visit

Participating in programs like the organics collection program is an important and meaningful way that we can take collective action on climate change, help limit NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions, achieve our zero waste goals, and create a cleaner/greener city. As we saw last weekend with another severe weather scare, the importance of thinking globally and acting locally has never been more apparent.

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