If you take a stroll around the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens or Park Slope, you may notice the area’s hottest new accessory: a brown plastic bin. These receptacles are part of the city’s ever-expanding Curbside Organics Collection Pilot Program. The simple translation for the municipal jargon: you put your kitchen’s organic matter (see a full list of acceptable items here) into the bin and the city collects and turns it into nutrient-rich compost that can be used as soil.
But if your neighborhood isn’t yet part of the city-sponsored pilot program (find out here), you can still find a way to get in on the compost fun. The NYC Compost Project hosts drop-off sites in all five boroughs (see a map of the sites here and learn what you can drop off).
Roughly 40 percent of food produced in America never makes it to the table, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month. Think of compost as a serious slim down for all of your kitchen waste. By committing to composting in your kitchen this year, you will significantly reduce your contribution to landfills (and the resulting harmful greenhouse gas methane) and as a bonus; you’ll get to take the trash out less.
Our preferred method is to put our compost on ice: We keep a small box in the freezer where we chuck our egg shells, tea bags and other kitchen scraps on a daily basis. When it’s time to put everything in the bin or walk it over to the Greenmarket, there is no muss, no fuss and, most importantly, no smell.
Even the city’s top chefs are getting in on composting. Roxanne Spruance, the chef and owner at the new East Village hotspot Kinglsey, told us, “I am very proud to say we are producing only one black bag of trash a night that sees a landfill! Almost everything is recycled and composted.”
Is your kitchen going on a compost diet this year?