Image credit: GrowNYC
Earlier today I posted about a composting "shuttle" service that collects food scraps in and around the Triangle area of North Carolina, and returns them to homeowners as finished compost. While the idea has undoubted appeal to those without the time, space or disposition to compost themselves, one commenter was concerned about the energy footprint of hauling food scraps. Given that bike-powered compost collection is limited in capacity, another solution is to offer centralized drop-off points where land-less households can take their food scraps for more efficient collection.
One scheme in NYC is doing just that, and it's recent expansion seems to have been a resounding success.Back in March of this year, Grow NYC's Compost at Greenmarket program expanded its pilot collection of food scraps to 11 greenmarkets across the city. Given that a full 17% of New York's waste stream is food scraps, composting could make a significant difference to reducing waste, improving soil fertility, and cutting back on methane emissions from landfill.
But how has the scheme fared?
As of this last weekend, Grow NYC collected 8,750 pounds of food scraps, taking the grand total to 172,851 pounds of food scraps that have been diverted from disposal since the scheme began. The scraps are collected and transported to a compost facility where they are converted into a fertile soil amendment for local farming projects and other uses.
Given the evident demand for the project, perhaps NYC will start to consider a San Francisco-style city-wide composting initiative. And then if we could get it running on solar power, the Big Apple could truly be green too.