NYC PS & You: Curbside Composting in Every K-12 School – 05/17/2024

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Curbside Composting in Every K-12 School

Dear New Yorkers,

The subject line says it all: we now have curbside composting in every New York City Public School! As of this spring, the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is conducting compost pickup five days a week from every K-12 building across our city. And, for the first time ever, composting will continue throughout Summer Rising as well.

Composting is a simple yet important strategy for reducing waste and fighting climate change. Last school year alone, our schools used composting to divert over 13,000 tons of material—from pizza crusts to orange peels to eggshells—that would have otherwise gone to a landfill.

Here’s how composting works: Students and staff place food scraps, napkins and compostable trays and utensils into DSNY brown bins. Food needs to be sorted correctly, and many schools have created Green Teams, led by students, who monitor waste disposal in our cafeterias and teach their peers about composting. Our Office of Energy & Sustainability also provides composting training and ongoing support to our educators, custodian engineers, and school food staff.

Then, after DSNY collects these food scraps, they are turned into fertilizer, which our schools can request to use in their school gardens, or biogas, a renewable alternative to fossil fuels that can help power our city.

I want to thank our partners at DSNY for making this large-scale effort possible; I’m proud to say that we have the largest school composting program in the nation. And I’m hopeful that as students practice composting at school, they will bring that knowledge home—families can learn about composting in their neighborhood here.

Green, sustainable schools contribute to a green, sustainable city. At New York City Public Schools, we are doing our part to fight climate change and create a healthier environment for us all.

Soaring high,

David C. Banks


Our Spotlight Video:

NYC Public Schools | For about a decade, less than half of our schools separated their compostable material.   At the start of 2022, over 1,000 schools had… | Instagram

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