Mayor Bloomberg to NYers: Compost your food scraps!
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Jenny Blackwell turns nutrient-rich compost.
June 18th, 2013
11:08 AM ET

Mayor Bloomberg to NYers: Compost your food scraps!

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

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(CNN) – First he forced chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus. Then he pushed forward with a ban on large size sugary soft drinks.

Now New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants people to set aside their food scraps so they can be collected for composting.

"It gives people a way to participate in composting even if you don't want to go whole hog yourself," said Brooklyn Botanic Garden spokesperson Kate Blumm. "So you don't want worms under your sink? Fine. You don't want to have to go out to your backyard with a pitchfork once a week? Fine. This is a way that you can participate, or really I can participate, as well."

Collecting food scraps in high-rise apartment buildings might pose a challenge. However, there are potentially large benefits to composting on a wide scale in a city as big as New York.

Jennifer Blackwell, manager of the city's composting program at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, says it could eliminate a large quantity of green house gases.

"When you compost like this it's in an aerobic setting so it involves oxygen. So you don't get as much methane as you do with a landfill."

The mayor's composting program will be voluntary at first, but officials would like to make it mandatory by the year 2016.

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Evelyn

    I like the concept but fear rodent infestations could get worse depending on how the compost is stored before pick-up. I think some folks in high rises would be most concerned. Will the compost be kept inside? Outside? Ground floor? Basement? If the containers are on the same floor as the apartments, it could cause all sorts of bugs to come around. At least the trash goes down a chute. Anything on the same level as where I'm living just doesn't sit well.

    June 18, 2013 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • skastenbaumcnn

      Evelyn – I think that's the chief concern of most New Yorkers. Also, do most people even have room in their tiny, cramped NYC kitchens to store one more garbage container if they have to do so because there is no common space on their floor?

      June 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |