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Press Release # 15-54
Monday, June 8, 2015
Vito A. Turso/Belinda A. Mager

Sanitation Commissioner Garcia and Council Member Cohen Welcome Riverdale, Fieldston and Spuyten Duyvil Residents to Food and Yard Waste Collection Program

Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and Council Member Andrew Cohen today welcomed residents living in Riverdale, North Riverdale, Fieldston and Spuyten Duyvil to NYC Organics – the DSNY curbside food and yard waste recycling program. The program offers city residents an easy way to recycle their organic waste, including food, food-soiled paper, and yard debris.

“Organic materials make up about a third of what we throw away,” said Commissioner Garcia. “These are valuable materials that can be reused and turned into compost. When you recycle your food and yard waste, the amount of garbage going to landfills is decreased, and you help create a greener and healthier New York City.”

To participate in the program, residents collect food scraps and food-soiled paper products such as paper napkins and plates, in their DSNY-issued bin. Residents then transfer the material to their outdoor DSNY-issued bin, along with yard waste, for collection on recycling day.

“The Department of Sanitation has said that organic waste makes up 31 percent of New York City’s residential and institutional waste stream. Since most of these materials can be used as compost, it makes sense to have a program like the NYC Organics curbside food and yard waste recycling. Through programs like these, organic waste can be collected, used as compost and put to good use to improve the environment and clean up our communities. Local residents will be able to easily separate their food waste in their own home for Sanitation to pick-up once a week. By utilizing this program, we as a community are helping to decrease the amount of garbage going to landfills and supporting a cleaner and healthier City. I encourage all of my neighbors living in the pilot area to participate in the program,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

Currently, the voluntary program serves more than 100,000 households in all five boroughs. This expansion is part of a larger spring expansion that will add approximately 33,000 new households. The pilot program originally began in May 2013 on Staten Island, and has diverted 13,200 tons of material.

“We are excited to see the organics collection program expand to additional neighborhoods in the Bronx,” said Dan Padernacht, Chairperson of Community Board 8, who was also at the event. “I encourage all the residents living in the pilot area to participate in the program.”

Who can participate?

All single family homes and buildings with nine or fewer residential units will be automatically enrolled in the voluntary program. Residential buildings with 10 or more units may apply to participate. Building managers may find more information on the application process at

How does it work?

All eligible households will receive a starter kit which includes an indoor kitchen container, an instruction brochure, and either their own outdoor brown bin or a larger one to share for the building (if there are between three and nine units in the building).

To participate in the program, residents place their food scraps, and food-soiled paper products such as paper napkins and paper plates, into their kitchen container. Residents may then transfer the material to their outdoor bin for DSNY collection on their recycling collection day.

The material collected under NYC Organics is managed locally and regionally. Some organic waste is turned into compost, and used locally by greening groups, such as urban famers, community gardeners, and street tree stewards, to rebuild the City’s soil.

Examples of items that may be placed in the bin:

  • Food scraps such as fruits, vegetables, egg shells, pasta, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, baked goods, meat and bones
  • Flowers and houseplants
  • Food-soiled paper such as paper towels, napkins and paper plates

Examples of items that may NOT be placed in the bin:

  • Plastics shopping bags
  • Foam items
  • Bathroom or medical waste
  • Animal waste

About the New York City Department of Sanitation
The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) promotes a healthy environment through the efficient management of solid waste and the development of environmentally sound long-range planning for handling refuse, including recyclables. The Department operates 59 district garages and manages a fleet of 2,022 rear-loading collection trucks, 450 mechanical brooms and 365 salt/sand spreaders. The Department clears litter, snow and ice from approximately 6,000 miles of City streets and removes debris from vacant lots as well as abandoned vehicles from City streets.