Community Garden Archives - NYC Composting | NYC Compost Consultants | Common Ground Compost

What Can & Cannot Be Composted in NYC

The word “organic” means anything relating to or derived from living matter. All organic material can be composted, but not always by the same process. Animal bones and wilted lettuce compost under the right conditions, but different microorganisms are needed to do the work, and will finish the task on different timelines. Because there are many different processes for breaking down organic material, different sites and haulers accept slightly varying materials. Typically, if you are dropping food scraps at a collection point in NYC the following items are not acceptable: meat, bones, fish, dairy, fats/oils, and Certified Compostable Products. If your organics are being collected curbside or by a private hauler, a wider variety of materials, included those just listed, are generally accepted.

 

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Bonus points!

  • Be sure to remove all stickers and rubber bands from your vegetable and fruit scraps.
  • If you’re composting large items, such as a whole melon that got too ripe, chop it into pieces that are small enough to fit in your palm.

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GrowNYC Greenmarket, Commuter Drop-Off, & Community Garden Programs

Acceptable:

  • Fruit & vegetable scraps
  • Non-greasy foods, such as rice, pasta, bread, cereal, or grains
  • Coffee grounds & filters
  • Tea bags
  • Egg and Nut shells
  • Pits
  • Dried or cut flowers
  • House plants & potting soil *please do not compost plants that are diseased or infested with bugs

Not Acceptable:

  • Meat, Chicken or Fish
  • Coconuts
  • Bones or Shells
  • Fats or oils
  • Dairy
  • Animal Waste
  • Litter or bedding
  • Coal or charcoal
  • Disease and/or insect-infested houseplants & soil
  • Certified compostable products (such as cups or utensils

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NYC Curbside Collection

Acceptable:

  • Fruit & vegetable scraps
  • Non-greasy foods, such as rice, pasta, bread, cereal, or grains
  • Coffee grounds & filters
  • Tea bags
  • Egg and Nut shells
  • Pits
  • Dried or cut flowers
  • House plants & potting soil
  • Meat, chicken, fish, bones & oily foods
  • Plate scraps
  • Soiled papers & napkins
  • Certified compostable products (such as cups or utensils)

Not Acceptable:

  • Animal Waste
  • Litter or bedding
  • Coal or charcoal
  • Disease and/or insect-infested houseplants & soil