Thursday, August 8, 2013


Brad Lander wrote this letter to his constituents about the Sanitation Department collecting organic trash in Windsor Terrace (and parts of the South Slope and Greenwood Heights) from residents who want to participate in the voluntary program. Now I don't need to come up with a blog post about it--thanks, Brad! :-)

Dear Joy:

Big news: this October, the NYC Department of Sanitation will expand its new curbside organics collection pilot program to Windsor Terrace, parts of the South Slope and Greenwood Heights (south of 15th Street, east of 6th Ave, north of Caton Avenue). Click here to see a map of the area covered.

Organic waste – including food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings – accounts for a third of all garbage created in New York City. Right now, the City spends about $100 million per year to send that waste to landfills. Diverting organic waste from landfills will save millions of dollars in taxpayer money, and also reduce NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions. Once collected, organic waste is turned into renewable energy or compost, which is used to fertilize community gardens, school yards, parks, and more—literally giving back to the community.

Participation in the pilot program is completely voluntary—and easy. Here is a quick breakdown:
  • Residential buildings will receive a free starter kit from the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) with a brown bin and a small kitchen container (which you can keep on the countertop, in the freezer, etc)
  • Food scraps can be put in the kitchen container, and then emptied into the brown bin along with leaves and yard trimmings for curbside collection
  • Sanitation will reach out to larger buildings to determine the appropriate number of brown bins needed
  • The brown bins Sanitation provides are specially designed to keep rodents and raccoons out
  • Organic waste pick-up is on your normal recycling day
More information will be mailed to each home before the pilot program begins in October, and DSNY will be making presentations in the community this fall. Go to to learn more or click here to contact the Department of Sanitation with any questions.

The urgency of action on climate change – and the importance of thinking globally and acting locally – has never been more apparent. The expansion of the composting program provides a opportunity to take meaningful action, and saves us money at the same time. I hope you will consider taking part.