We caught word of New York Compost, a pilot project to start a "table-to-farm" compost pick-up service in NYC that would take organic matter from restaurants to farmers. Here's their Kickstarter fundraising campaign page - they need to raise $6,000 by September 1st to develop and test a cargo bike system to do the job.
It's a great idea, considering that 29% of NYC's compostable waste stream - which could go back to enriching our soils - ends up instead in landfills, where it can't break down properly. This means literally landfilling the soil's fertility - but not if New Yorkers do something about it. Take a look at their video:
The NYC Department of Sanitation says that the prohibitive costs of collection and lack of centralized processing facilities and density are the reasons why NYC doesn't have municipal compost collection. But leave it to conscientious citizens to act first (which is pretty much the same situation in Montreal here - rather than twiddle their thumbs, the young entrepreneurs behind Compost Montreal went ahead to meet the demand). As the people behind New York Compost say:
This is where we come in. We believe that we have developed a method of organic material pick-up that will surmount all of these obstacles. We want to use low-cost cargo bicycles that would collect food scraps from small to medium sized restaurants, containerize them, and deliver them to farmers who would be in the city for farmer's markets and CSA drop-offs. The farmers would then back-haul the food scraps to their farms and process them into compost. This benifits the farmer by both improving the quality of their soil and potentially saving them money on fertilizer and other soil amendments.
They already have the restaurants, farms and bicyclists lined up for the pilot project - but need the bikes. So if you're looking to participate by pledging a minimum or $15 or up in a potentially great project, take a moment to support them.