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Where to Drop Off Compost

Home > New York > Outdoor
Published April 6th 2011
Composting is one of the most important things you can do to green your household and your city. By keeping food scraps out of the garbage, you'll reduce the amount of waste going to landfills—and the frequency with which you have to take out the trash! Besides, composting is a way of recycling nutrients to feed new plants, so gardens and farms can thrive without using any chemical fertilizers.

Wait, wait—before you say you don't have the time or space for a compost bin, or you don't want to have to deal with smelly rotting food scraps, or you don't know what to do with the resulting soil—let me tell you about a much easier solution. There has never been an easier moment in New York City to start adding composting to your routine.

You can now drop off household food scraps at ten different Greenmarkets around the city. The Lower East Side Ecology Center, Western Queens Compost Initiative, and the Fort Greene Compost Project have been running drop-off sites for a while, but GrowNYC has just expanded the initiative to several more locations as part of a pilot program in Spring 2011.

The following Greenmarkets are happy to take your compost during regular hours of operation:

Manhattan: Union Square, Abingdon Square, Inwood, Tribeca

Brooklyn: Grand Army Plaza, McCarren Park, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Borough Hall

Queens: Sunnyside, Jackson Heights

If you're not sure which waste is eligible for composting, here are some guidelines: vegetable and fruit matter are OK, as well as coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, egg shells, flowers, and houseplants. Waste items you should avoid putting into the compost bin include meat, dairy products, fat and oil, greasy foods, pet waste, and diseased houseplants.

To avoid odors in your home from the saved food scraps, you can keep your compost in a plastic container in the freezer or refrigerator for the week, then bring it to the farmers' market when it's full. Could it be any simpler?
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Why? Next time you go to the farmers’ market, you’ll be able to give something back.
When: Pilot program runs through June 25, 2011; may be extended
Where: Varies
Cost: Free
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