Commuter Composting at Grand Street and Clinton

Have you ever been bothered by the huge amount of garbage you produce every week? What if I told you that you could reduce your contribution to landfills by 70%?

Have you ever come home from work and noticed a pungent smell coming from the compactor rooms on the ground floor? What if I told you that you could make that smell disappear?

compostThat’s the promise of composting, and it’s why NYC is betting big-time that in addition to separating our paper and plastics, we can be persuaded to set our food waste aside as well. The challenge is — as with all waste disposal — creating new carrier routes to pick up the separate trash from the millions of residences in the city.

Now in partnership with the great Lower East Side Ecology Center, which has been promoting composting for decades, you can bring your food waste to a collection point on Grand Street and Clinton on your way to work — Mondays and Fridays , 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Here’s what’s acceptable for composting:

  • All fruit and vegetable peelings and pits
  • Non-greasy food scraps or leftovers
  • Rice, pasta, bread, cereal, etc.
  • Coffee grounds with filter, tea bags
  • Hair and nails (animal or human)
  • Egg and nut shells
  • Cut or dried flowers, wreaths
  • Houseplants and potting soil

And here’s what’s not acceptable for composting:

  • Meat, chicken, and fish
  • Greasy food scraps or leftovers
  • Fats or oils
  • Dairy items (cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.)
  • Dog or cat feces, kitty litter
  • Coal or charcoal
  • Coconuts
  • Diseased and/or insect-infested houseplants and potting soil

The best way to collect your food waste during the week is in a plastic bag or small plastic container — a good tip is to keep it in the freezer, so you don’t have to worry at all about odor.

LESEC has five other drop-off locations in Manhattan, and we’re trying to figure out if we can get a pick-up closer to our coop, since LESEC’s HQ and compost processing is at the East River Fire Boat House just on the other side of the FDR from us.