Start composting today. It's a hands-on way to make a difference!
First, you will need to collect your organic materials, like lunchtime leftovers, separating them from the garbage.
Below are some other steps to consider when starting a compost program:
Coordinate with staff.

Having your maintenance crew onboard before setting up a new program is key, as they are the people most impacted by the change. Next, meet with your staff to learn how they currently operate, finding the easiest way to incorporate food scrap separation into their daily routine.

Conduct a waste audit.

It’s important to know how much waste your organization is generating. A waste audit provides information you can use to help design waste stations, negotiate pricing with waste haulers, and pinpoint better recycling practices.

Common Ground offers comprehensive waste audits and data analysis. We can help you get started!
Contact a waste hauler.

You may be eligible for a Department of Sanitation pilot, you can submit an op-in form to see if the city will include you. If you have a private food service provider, you may not be eligible even if you are in the pilot area.

If you are not eligible, you will need to contract a local waste hauler to pick up your compost.

Setting up compost stations.

Where you prepare the food, and where people eat need clear labeling, color-coding your signage helps. If possible a teacher or staff member should monitor the stations during busy lunch times to reduce contamination.

Educate or train students and staff.

Learning about the waste cycle plays a key role in a person’s future as a responsible consumer. Composting also contains elements of environmental science, chemistry, math, and even art.

Educating teachers at your school or the staff at your nonprofit is essential to success. They are responsible for introducing the program to students and monitoring their acceptance and understanding of the process.

Many New York City public schools are already composting, thanks to a city sponsored initiative and the help of DSNY collection trucks.
Find out if your school is located in the pilot area.

If you’re thinking of starting a program – let us know – we’re happy to offer advice or roll up our sleeves and get involved!