Pilot program will have residents sort waste for food scraps
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Residents of Windsor Terrace had better be careful where they throw those banana peels!
The community will become the first in Brooklyn to take part in a pilot program by city’s Department of Sanitation (DOS) to collect organic waste, including food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings, for the purpose of composting.
Councilman Brad Lander (D-Park Slope-Windsor Terrace) announced on his website that the program will begin the week of Oct. 7.
The pilot program is voluntary, according to Lander, who said it’s also very easy.
The organic waste will be turned into renewable energy or compost to be used to fertilize community gardens, parks, school yards, and other public spaces, “literally giving back to the community,” Lander wrote on his website.
The pilot program will be in place for two years and will be constantly monitored and updated by DOS.
Here is what residents should know about the pilot program:
- Residential buildings will receive a free starter kit from the DOS with a brown bin and a small kitchen container to store the organic waste. Starter kits will be delivered starting Sept. 27.
- Food scraps can be put in the kitchen container, and then emptied into the brown bin along with leaves and yard trimmings for curbside collection.
- Sanitation officials will reach out to larger buildings to determine the appropriate number of brown bins needed.
- The brown bins DOS provides are specially designed to keep rodents and raccoons out, Lander said.
- Organic waste pick-up will take place each week on the scheduled recycling day.
- For more information, visit nyc.gov/organics or call the Composting Hotline at 212-437-4646.
It will be a major help to the environment, according to Lander, who said organic waste makes up a third of all the residential trash the city produces.
“Food scraps are a big deal. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars to export our garbage when about one-third of our waste is compostable. If the composting program in Windsor Terrace is successful, then the city will be able to bring it to other neighborhoods,” the councilman stated.
“The expansion of the composting program provides an opportunity to takemeaningful action, and saves us money at the same time,” he added.
Community Board Seven, which covers Windsor Terrace, will hold a meeting with DOS officials on Thursday, October 3, at the International Baptist Church, 312 Coney Island Ave., at 6:30 p.m.
Composting isn’t a totally unknown concept to Brooklynites. Under the NYC Compost Project, an initiative DOS started in 1993, individual homeowners in the borough have been encouraged to compost. The project includes workshops at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where residents can learn all about the process of turning food scraps into fertilizer.
But the new pilot program represents the first community wide effort.
A composting pilot program is already underway in Manhattan. Crain’s New York Business reported in April that DOS was starting a pilot program in one building, the Helena, an apartment complex on 11th Avenue and 57th Street owned by the Hurst Organization. Residents there have been asked to separate their organic waste from other household trash for collection.