After a five-month break as COVID-19 swept New York City, GrowNYC’s food scrap drop-off site has returned to the McCarren Park Greenmarket (N 12 Street and Driggs Avenue) on Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., year-round.

Accepted food scraps include fruit and vegetables, non-greasy foods (rice, pasta, bread, grains and cereal), coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, egg shells and nuts, cut flowers and houseplants, soiled brown paper products and potting soil.

Photo courtesy of Miryam Shemwell

Food scraps collected at McCarren Park Greenmarket are processed by Big Reuse in Long Island City.

Scraps that are not currently accepted include meat, fish, bones, dairy, fat, oil, greasy foods, animal waste, charcoal, coconuts, insect-infested plants, plastics, twist ties, rubber bands or receipts.

GrowNYC relies on private and public funding to keep basic programs going including community gardens, food access sites, composting and environmental education. After necessary budget cuts were made last March when a state
of emergency was declared due to COVID-19, GrowNYC’s Zero Waste Programs funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation were suspended. However,
new funding for community composting has been reinstated in
the City’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget allowing for partial resumption of GrowNYC food scrap collections.


Earlier in September, GrowNYC reopened 16 food scrap drop-off
sites with COVID-19 precautions in place; drop-off participants and Greenmarket shoppers are required to wear face coverings a maintain social distance.

Food scrap drop-offs are also available with the North Brooklyn Compost Project in McGolrick Park on Sundays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., and in Williamsburg at Domino Park on Mondays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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