Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Indoor composting in New York City

Since March, GrowNYC has been running a program collecting compost at various Greenmarkets, including mine, from New Yorkers who don't have outdoor space or heart to operate a counter-top worm composting bin (yes, they exist). The program, originally intended to run through June, has now been extended through December.

That's because it's been so successful. Through June 24, GrowNYC reports collecting a cumulative 116,265 pounds of compost. That's a lot of compost:


I know, because I carry ours three blocks over to the Greenmarket every Saturday. And we could contribute a lot more, if GrowNYC collected the compost more than once a week. Note, though, that the amounts collected each month have started declining from the high in April. That might be because the novelty has worn off. Or it might be that residents are eating more meals out in the warmer months, or spending time outside of the City.

Participating has generated a fair amount of debate in our household, partly on the smell issue, but more generally on the relative friendliness to the environment of putting the vegetable scraps into NYC's waste stream versus using the refrigerator to store and cool what is, well, garbage. We've compromised: once we fill our 1.8 gallon cylinder, recycling is done for the week. (So we're still putting a lot of watermelon rinds in the garbage). What do you think?



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