NYLCV Rallies to Save Our Compost

Articles | December 7, 2023

By Alexis Hidalgo

The Save Our Compost coalition held a press conference and rally at City Hall Park on Wednesday to advocate for community composting. Aligning forces with over a dozen council members, we advocated passionately for Mayor Adams and the Department of Sanitation to reinstate vital funding.

Under proposed budget cuts, community compost organizations — GrowNYC, the Lower East Side Ecology Center, BIG Reuse and Earth Matter, as well as the four botanical gardens — must shut down their city-funded programs by the end of the year. 

The community composting programs in our city stand as indispensable resources, converting the waste of New Yorkers into nutrient-rich soil for our parks, gardens, and playgrounds, playing a pivotal role as a tool in the fight against climate change. Cutting community composting and outreach programs will result in the elimination of these invaluable services that provide local food scrap composting, extensive community outreach and education, and over 115 green union jobs for the City. 

No composting effort in NYC can succeed without a strong community composting network.  

The rally witnessed an impressive turnout of over a hundred supporters rallying for the restoration of the budget for community composting. Council Members Sandy Nurse, Chair of the Council Sanitation Committee, Lincoln Restler, Carlina Rivera, Chi Ossé, Crystal Hudson, Shahana Hanif, Shekar Krishnan, Christopher Marte, Erik Bottcher, Shaun Abreu, Eric Dinowitz, Jennifer Gutiérrez, Rita Joseph, Alexa Avilés, Kristin Richardson Jordan, and Julie Won delivered impassioned speeches, with Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso also lending his support.

Council Member Nurse emphasized the urgency of the matter, noting that the loss of these programs would result in over 120 people losing their jobs in just two weeks, and endanger the composting of 8 million pounds of waste through these programs.

Brooklyn Borough President Reynoso argued that cutting community composting is akin to “mortgaging our future,” urging an investment now to save money later.

Council Member Hanif underscored the broader significance, stating, “This is about a lot more than saving composting; this is about saving the city.”

This is a climate justice issue, racial justice issue, and worker justice issue. 

We need to urge Mayor Adams not to eliminate community composting so we can reach our City’s zero waste goals, invest in green jobs, and improve our quality of life!

Take action now! Sign GrowNYC’s petition here

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