Organic Waste Recycling Pilot Program Begins In May

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Organics Collection Pilot Area Map, via nyc.gov
In just over a month, you’ll be able to put your separated banana peels and coffee grounds curbside to be kept out of landfills and turned into compost instead. The expanded organics collection pilot program will begin picking up in parts of Park Slope beginning the week of May 19.

According to the map, people living south of Union Street in small residential buildings (with fewer than 10 apartments — large buildings can request the program) will be included in the program. Here are some things to know:

• You will most likely receive a bin and starter kit during the week before collection begins.

• If you get your bin after the first pick-up, wait until you have a bin before you leave organics curbside.

• Organics are collected twice per week on your regular trash days.

 ”It it grows, it goes” into the brown bin — including meat and bones. Here’s a list of what can and can’t be collected.

• If you want to line your bin (you don’t have to), you can find local compostable bag retailers here.

• For extra yard waste, like piles of leaves in the fall, you can leave paper lawn bags or bundles next to the bin.

For more information, check out their list of frequently asked questions.

The Department of Sanitation began collecting organics as part of this pilot program in neighborhoods last year, including in Windsor Terrace and parts of South Slope and Greenwood Heights, which were the first areas in Brooklyn to get the program this past fall. With this expansion, the program will now reach 100,000 households.

The city reports that almost 30% of residential waste is suitable for source-separated composting. After it’s collected as part of this pilot program, the organics go to local and regional composting facilities, where it’s broken down on a large scale with industrial equipment (which is why it can handle things like bones that backyard composting can’t), though the city notes that some of the organic material collected is converted to renewable energy.

Map via nyc.gov

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