Americans waste A LOT of food–35 million tons a year! In fact, we throw out more food than plastic, paper, metal, or glass. If that wasn’t scary enough, this disturbing trend is increasing each year. In NYC, approximately 35 percent of our garbage consists of discarded food. This is where the beauty of a city wide composting program comes into play.
A couple years ago, New York City set an ambitious goal of diverting 75 percent of trash from landfills by 2030. With food waste taking up such a big chunk of valuable landfill real estate, it’s no wonder the city wants to expand its composting programs. Lucky for us, Greenpoint is next on the list!
Curbside composting, a voluntary program which began in some neighborhoods two years ago, is coming to Williamsburg and Greenpoint this spring. The composting program works similarly to recycling: the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) provides bins for food scraps and grass trimmings which is then picked up on recycling days. The compost is used to fertilize parks and gardens around the city.
While transforming the food we throw away into nutrition for plants is an ambitious step for any garbage program, the composting program hasn’t been a resounding success so far. In Park Slope participation clocked in at a measly 17 percent. Residents blamed a lack of communication and wary landlords on the low numbers. Hopefully the DSNY can improve on those issues and educate residents before the North Brooklyn roll out begins this Spring.
What do you think Greenpointers, will you compost if you’re provided with a bin? Do you think we should shame people like they’re doing in Seattle? Let us know in the comments!