compost flickr/kristyhall

Yes We Can: 4 Ways NYC Makes Kitchen Composting Easy

From workshops to curbside pickup to a master composter who makes housecalls.

compost flickr/kristyhall
Our innovation issue includes a story on a compost miracle rehabilitating a superfund site, one windrow at a time.

But you don’t need to schlepp your scraps to Gowanus — or even a Greenmarket, where over a million pounds of food waste was collected last year — to transform your grapefruit rinds and coffee grinds into fertile black gold. We’ve got several resources to help you decompose:

1. The official NYC “WasteLess” department (love them!) offers everything from compost-bin-construction plans to worm workshops.

2. Move over, San Francisco — NYC is now rolling out compost pick-up. Now residents can plop their carrot tops and pizza crusts on the curb, in pilot sections of all 5 boroughs! Naturally, Park Slope is among them. (Not in one of the lucky nabes? Check out these drop-off locations)

3. Remember — compost isn’t just for produce. As we investigated, those compostable cups, containers and cutlery all over town are literally worse than plastic when they land in a landfill. (Crazy, right?)

4. The Compostess — New York is now home to a worm-bin whisperer, and yes, she makes house calls. This master composter may not wear a cape, but she’s a superhero when it comes to setting up kitchen systems (hello, red wriggler worm bin!) and keeping it all fruit-fly free.

Photo credit: Flickr / kristyhall




Gabrielle Langholtz is the editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. Her background includes many projects at the intersection of gastronomy and ecology: She ran communications for the Greenmarket office, wrote the teacher's guide to Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire, worked on a Catskills vegetable farm, volunteered at The Edible Schoolyard and taught a food systems course at NYU. Now married to the head livestock farmer at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, she has visited dozens of local farms, milked cows and sheep, played midwife to ewes, castrated piglets, tapped sugar maples, foraged ramps, got in the way of swarming bees, helped slaughter turkeys and has planted and picked more varieties of fruits and vegetables than most Americans eat in a lifetime—which admittedly isn’t saying much. While she wants to change the food system one reader/eater at a time, she prefers using carrots to sticks.