Green Tips: Composting Edition

Green Tips | May 23, 2018

About one-third of what New Yorkers throw away can be composted. Food scraps and other organics do not break down in landfills the same way they do in compost piles. Not only does composting reduce waste, it also helps enrich soil used for growing trees and grass, improving our vital greenspaces. Anyone can compost, whether you live in a house or apartment. Here are some tips:

  1. Collect organics, including:
    • fruit and vegetable scraps
    • food scraps such as grains and baked goods
    • shells, seeds, or pits
    • yard waste
    • paper or cardboard that is not coated with any wax or glossy finish

             Put them in a bin for indoor or outdoor composting.

  1. Be sure to avoid adding greasy or fatty foods, as they will slow down the composting process. Also, be sure to avoid adding any type of plastic. These will not break down at all in your compost. For a full list of what you can and cannot compost, click here.
  1. Compost is ready to be used when materials at the bottom turn a dark color and the compost has a soil-like, earthy smell. At this point, you can spread a layer of it over the soil in your backyard, garden, or any area with trees, grass, or plants.
  1. If you need to store your compost before bringing it to your yard or drop-off site, leave it in your freezer to prevent heavy odors throughout your home.
  1. If you do not have a lawn there are many drop-off locations throughout New York City and the rest of the state. Your organic waste will be transported to a composting site and turned into a nutrient-rich soil that is used for farming or gardening.
  1. Congratulations! By composting you have reduced your waste, helped decrease greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, saved waste pick-up and disposal costs, and improved the health of your environment.
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