Bin there, done that: city celebrates International Composting Week

From left, Queens County Farm Executive Director Jennifer Walden Weprin, DSNY Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability Bridget Anderson, Scrappy the Brown Bin, Leif the Lawn Bag, DSNY Acting Commissioner Steven Costas, and DSNY Chief and Director of Cleaning and Collection Edward Grayson.

From left, Queens County Farm Executive Director Jennifer Walden Weprin, DSNY Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability Bridget Anderson, Scrappy the Brown Bin, Leif the Lawn Bag, DSNY Acting Commissioner Steven Costas, and DSNY Chief and Director of Cleaning and Collection Edward Grayson.

By David Brand

Top Department of Sanitation officials visited Queens County Farm on Thursday to celebrate International Compost Awareness Week and educate residents in Queens Community District 13.

Cities around the world participate in International Compost Awareness Week each year to champion the importance of composting and the long-term benefits of organics recycling.

New York City conducts curb-side pickup in every Queens neighborhood and operates 20 drop-off locations in the borough. DSNY encourages businesses and residential buildings to dispose of organic scraps in compost bins instead of trash cans.

“In New York City alone, more than 1 million tons of food is thrown out by businesses and residents each year. And that needs to change,” said Acting DSNY Commissioner Steven Costas. “This is about making small behavior changes, and we want everyone to know that keeping this material out of the trash is easy and rewarding. Our teams will be working throughout the district and will be available to help and answer questions. Increasing participation in the program is critical for supporting our environment and keeping our city healthy and clean.”

Organic materials, including food scraps and yard waste, comprise roughly a third of waste generated by New Yorkers. DSNY has also recruited volunteers to assist in the education effort.

“I signed up to volunteer because I want to take part in cleaning up my neighborhood,” said Queens Village resident Bobby Seal. “I really think for this to be successful, it is going to require a helping hand from everyone.”

DSNY will continue running composting awareness events throughout the city this spring. The agency will host a compost giveback event at the Cross Island YMCA on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.