I had the wonderful pleasure of sitting in for a presentation by a member of Queens Botanical Garden‘s Compost Project. I learned that this project is funded by the NYC’s Department of Sanitation, which is a wonderful effort on their part to create awareness & make rounds for organic matter collection.
Here’s what I learned. Organic compost is made from food scraps, coffee grounds, soiled paper, and also leaf & yard waste. The process generally takes about 6 months, requiring a sheltered & enclosed space away from rodents (inevitable New York natives) and the elements but allowing for air to pass through. You can check to see if your compost is ready by taking a handful and putting it in air-tight bag. Smell the contents the next day and if it smells like ammonia, your compost is not ready. A good compost is thoroughly decomposed.
The reason for these efforts? Collecting organic compost recycles it completely and creates a mutualistic relationship between our trash & our sustainability needs as of lately. It also prevents it from entering landfills as trash. When organic matter finds itself there, it can produce methane as it decomposes which is more toxic to our atmosphere than CO2; adding to our greenhouse gas issue. You know, climate change.
Homeowners and landlords can enroll their properties in organics collection with the Department of Sanitation by clicking here for the application.
Tenants of buildings can apply too but are encouraged to get applications from other residents living on the premises. If that’s not possible, there are also food scrap drop-off sites and you can click here for locations to those.
I hope this encourage readers to think about their trash a bit more consciously. If you’re considering composting but just want to learn more, consider reaching out to the NYC Project Compost sites by clicking here. There are a few different ways to get involved no matter who you are… try it out!