With community bins and organic waste collection, composting expands to NYC school system

Public schools will play a key role in the next phase of expanding the compost program in New York City.

Mayor Eric Adams announced during his budget presentation Tuesday that 100 schools across the city will host smart bins for the public to use, and every public school will send its organic waste to compost. While Adams has paused any further expansion of residential compost curbside pickup, which is currently limited to six community board districts, the school sites are meant to allow other communities to collect compost in central locations.

“While we have not determined sites yet, these will likely be on sidewalks outside school campuses, so that the public can access them without any security concerns,” Department of Sanitation spokesperson Vincent Gragnani said in a statement via email.

The entire school system will also be brought into the compost program over the next two years, with more than 1,800 schools composting their organic waste, according to the DSNY. Only about 860 schools in the system are currently composting their organics.

“I am so proud that Mayor Adams and our partners at the Department of Sanitation have identified schools as the centerpieces of our communities! What better places to make our city greener and cleaner than where our students engage with their peers everyday,” said Schools Chancellor David Banks in an email statement.

The school smart bin sites and expanded organics collections will cost $9.2 million for sanitation, which has a $1.83 billion budget line in Adams’s executive budget next year. The overall amount allocated to all organics recycling initiatives in the upcoming year’s budget is $30 million.

While Adams had initially campaigned on universal composting, he suspended in February the expansion of residential curbside pickup, citing low participation and the need to trim budgets.

For now, residential compost pickup service is only available in Brooklyn’s Community Board districts 1, 2, 6 and 7, Manhattan’s Community Board districts 6 and 7, and Bronx’s Community Board district 8. The program will, however, allow for more residents of those districts to sign up.

This story was updated with more accurate figures in next year’s budget.

Source : https://gothamist.com/news/with-community-bins-and-organic-waste-collection-composting-expands-to-nyc-school-system

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