Recycling organics is a small change that makes a big impact!

NYC’s residential recycling rate hovers below 20% even though nearly 75% of our waste is recyclable.

In 2013 NYC began piloting curbside compost collection, and the collection program grew across the boroughs until the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

The budget crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic shifted the availability of compost programs for NYC residents.

Did you know that we pick up food scraps in Manhattan?

Learn more, and also read about the post-pandemic residential organics landscape in NYC, on our Reclaimed Organics program’s Save Our Compost page.

NYC Residential Waste Composition (DSNY, 2017)
Where should residents start?
3 Steps for the Apartment Composter:
Separate your food scraps.

Set your food scraps aside, keeping them separate from recyclables and trash.

Place your scraps into a container.

You can use almost anything! A paper bag, Tupperware, old yogurt containers, takeout containers, a or plastic bag for transport, (but please keep in mind plastic is not compostable). When buying  compostable bags, look for the “ASTM D6400 specification”, and be sure to check ahead that your compost site accepts them.

Work it into your routine!

Most city residents will compost by dropping food scraps. Find a drop off near you, or contact our Reclaimed Organics program if you’d like to learn more about our microhauling pickup service!

New York City Pilot Programs

NYC is piloting curbside collection of compostable material, beginning with 3,200 households in Staten Island, and has now expanded to about 100,000 households across all 5 boroughs.

Learn more about the program.

Sign up your building for compost collection!

The following map shows the specific pilot zones in each borough.

If you think you should be included in the pilot, but have not received a brown bin, call 311.

East Village Residents in New York

You may live or work in the zone for compost collection by bike from Reclaimed Organics.


If you don’t live in a pilot zone

You can still compost by dropping your food scraps locally.


Brooklyn and Manhattan

There are a couple local nonprofits and small businesses that can collect your compost, BK Rot (Bushwick), Sure We Can (East Williamsburg), and Vokashi (Brooklyn and Manhattan).


If you’re in need of compostable bags, you can find a local retailer near you (including Whole Foods) that supplies them, or order them on Amazon! Look for the “ASTM D6400 specification” when buying compostable bags.

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