With many of our compost drop-off locations suspended due to COVID-19 and pandemic-related budget cuts, you might have wondered if there’s any alternative to tossing your food scraps into the trash. When organic waste ends up in our landfills, it generates methane, a greenhouse gas, which is why it’s essential to compost. Not only that, but it’s easy and fun too! That’s exactly why public-health professional Belinda Chiu devised this live-tracker, listing all the locations within the five boroughs where sustainability-minded folks can drop off their food scraps for composting.
New Yorkers looking for a drop-off spot in Lower Manhattan should head to the LES Ecology Center at the East River Park Compost Yard. The site reopened earlier this month and accepts drop-offs 24 hours a day, seven days a week from residential households only.
Looking to start to compost? Always check your drop-off locations do’s and don’ts, they all have different rules on what they can accept. In case anyone needs a reminder of what constitutes organic waste, here are LES Ecology Center’s drop-off guidelines:
We accept fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, bread, grains, eggshells, nutshells, flowers and houseplants.
We do not accept meat, fish, bones, shells, dairy products, fats, greasy foods, pet feces, pet bedding, diseased plants, compostable plastics.
Collect your organic waste in a reusable container in your freezer to avoid any potential unwanted bugs (remove those stickers and rubber bands first!) and then bring it in a brown paper bag to drop off. It helps control the smells of the compost! Chiu also compiled a list of organizations offering paid residential pickup of your organic waste in this handy spreadsheet.