Composting community food waste in New York City

Composting community food waste in New York City

Here at Tidy Planet, we love shouting about the great food waste composting work we carry out not only in the UK but across the world – from the Maldives and Indonesia, to France and the USA. And we take pride in being a global-reaching organisation which helps companies to discover the benefits of on-site composting and, ultimately, close the food waste loop themselves.

One of our recent projects took place across the pond in the US, during the height of the pandemic and saw our internationally acclaimed Rocket Composter producing great quality compost in New York City’s Domino Park – a five-acre, waterfront public space in the city’s North Brooklyn neighbourhood.

Composting community food waste in New York City

A response to the pandemic

Due to the social and economic challenges posed by COVID-19, the city stopped its kerbside food waste collections, and this left a big question around what would happen to the surplus.

A ‘Food Scrap Drop-Off’ programme was set up by Domino Park – led by its director Michael Lampariello and director of horticulture, Nathan Bartholomew – to help the community and ensure food waste was going to be harnessed as a resource, instead of being landfilled.

North Brooklyn’s residents are therefore invited, each week, to bring their food scraps – fruit, vegetables, garden waste, bread or ground coffee – to the park to be composted by the Rocket, in as little as 14 days.

But what we love about this project is its truly circular and sustainable nature. The resulting compost is being reused in the park and is also available, free of charge, for other public spaces to collect. It’s also available to the general public if they wish to reuse it at home.

This closed-loop, community-redistribution model means that North Brooklyn’s residents are able to effectively minimise and divert the amount of food waste going to landfill, while the city’s kerbside collections aren’t in action. And this adaptability and community spirit is definitely something to be admired!

Composting community food waste in New York City

The ‘drop-offs’ take place weekly on Mondays between 10am-12pm and Thursday 6pm-8pm, and the Rocket Composter is set to remain in its home at Domino Park until next summer (June 2021) – and may even become a permanent fixture.

A big thanks to our USA-based distributor, Food Waste Experts, for facilitating this brilliant project!

Stay tuned for further updates…

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