Compost is growing in NYC, as the city set an ambitious goal to send zero waste to landfill by 2030. We’ve seen a number of creative composting projects too, from a compostable mushroom tower at PS1 to proposed island-like parks built atop giant composting facilities.
Now, the classic newspaper box is getting a clever composting re-make. Artist and former tabloid newspaper designer Debbie Ullman created New York Compost, some of the coolest compost drop-off boxes in the city.
The boxes allow local residents to drop off compostable food waste at the colorful bins, which are then emptied daily and composted at local community gardens. Although some photos of the project were staged alongside real newspaper vending machines, the boxes are currently located outside of the gardens where the scraps will be used. The sealed containers keep rats and pests out, while filling a familiar space on the urban streetscape.
Ullman writes on her website that she's not trying to make any comment about the quality of The New York Post’s journalism with the project—she just wanted to play on the word “post.”
“Having worked at tabloid newspapers for 12 years, it made more sense to me,” she writes. “The way information is being disseminated has changed, and as these boxes become more and more obsolete, this is one way I see them being re-used.”
There are currently three New York Compost project locations: one at Earth Matter on Governor’s Island, one at the East Side Community High School Garden and one at the uptown Urban Garden Center. But if you want to toss a peel or pit in the box, you’ll need a code for the lock—a small safeguard against people leaving garbage in the bin.
And if you’re looking for other NYC compost drop-off locations, check them out here.