Oh, scrappy day! City brings composting pick-up to Greenpoint

Composting comes to Bay Ridge
Photo by Josephine Beckmann

Everything moldy is new again.

The city is expanding its fledgling food-waste recycling program to Greenpoint next month, offering curbside collection of table scraps and yard trimmings, which it will transform into plant food and, eventually, natural gas, says New York’s trash czar.

“We hope our organics collection program will not only reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills but also create compost, a natural fertilizer,” said sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

The trash commission will ship brown bins to Greenpointers in single family houses and apartment buildings with nine or fewer units between June 11 and 15, and will start picking up the contents weekly from June 15. (People who live in larger apartment blocks will have to keep schlepping their scraps to farmers markets for now).

Environmentally conscious residents say the sidewalk service will make it easier being green.

“I am all for it,” said Greenpoint resident and committed composter Ellen Oettinger. “We have been hauling our frozen food scraps to McCarren on Saturday mornings for four years now.”

The city also plans to turn Greenpoint’s old banana peels and pizza crusts into an energy source at the neighborhood’s sewage treatment plant on Newtown Creek.

The plant will pump the watered-down waste into its so-called digester eggs, and capture the potent methane that rises from the slurry. www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/37/40/dtg-solid-waste-natural-gas-newtown-2014-10-03-bk_37_40.html“>

Utility giant National Grid will then re-brand that fart gas as natural gas, and sell it back to householders.

The city will likely need more space for additional digester eggs in the future as the project grows, said officials.

The pilot composting program has already been up and running in Windsor Terrace since 2013, and Greenwood Heights, Sunset Park, Park Slope, Gowanus, and Bay Ridge since 2014.

The program is voluntary for now, but officials say participation might become mandatory in the future after it rolls the scheme out city-wide.

As of late last year, at least a quarter of eligible homes in the participating Brooklyn neighborhoods were diligently wheeling their brown bins to the curb.

Park Slopers and Gowanusites are the most enthusiastic composters, with more than 45 percent of bin-owning homes in those ’hoods putting them to use, according to city data.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.