NYC’s curbside composting program coming to all five boroughs
Following the notable success of the program in Queens, curbside composting will soon expand to all of New York City, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Thursday during his State of the City address. The program will launch in Brooklyn this October, followed by the Bronx and Staten Island in March 2024 and Manhattan in October 2024. According to the mayor, the program will be the nation’s largest curbside composting program.
“We’re going to ‘Get Stuff Cleaner’ by launching the country’s largest curbside composting program,” Adams said. “By the end of 2024, all 8.5 million New Yorkers will finally have the rat-defying solution they’ve been waiting for two decades.”
The program will be voluntary, despite calls for a mandatory system. However, the NYC Department of Sanitation is said to be discussing the possibility of mandating the program, according to the New York Times.
Besides its vast number of environmental benefits, composting will work to fight the city’s rat problem, which Adams has made a priority during his term. Composting can remove thousands of pounds of organic waste and discarded food that attracts rats, according to the city.
The program is expected to cost $22.5 million during the 2026 fiscal year, which is the first full fiscal year it will be operating across the whole city, according to Jessica Tisch, commissioner of the DSNY. The city will also have to purchase new trucks to collect the compost, which is expected to cost an additional $45 million.
The program is set to resume in Queens on March 27 after taking a break for the winter, expand into Brooklyn on October 2, start in the Bronx and Staten Island on March 25, 2024, and begin in Manhattan on October 7, 2024.
Last April, the NYC Council passed a bill calling for the creation of a mandatory citywide compost program at all residential buildings. As part of the bill, waste pickup from residential buildings was scheduled to begin in the middle of 2023 before expanding to all NYC homes by June of the same year.
In August 2022, Adams announced a new “no frills” compost program for Queens residents that delivered compost bins to every NYC residential building in the borough with 10 or more units. The program, which kicked off in October 2022, required no opt-in or registration, making it easier for New Yorkers to take part. The program is estimated to have cost the city approximately $2 million, according to DSNY.
In just three months of operation, the program collected more than 12.7 million pounds of organic waste, with the majority of the participating Queens districts outperforming other communities that have participated in previous compost programs.
“In just three months, a pilot composting program right here in Queens kept nearly 13 million pounds of kitchen and yard waste out of landfills. That’s more than the weight of 300 city buses,” Adams said. “Imagine how much we will accomplish when every family in the city is participating. A lot of people have talked about this issue, but this administration is getting it done.”
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