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Food Scrap Collection Program Expanded in NYC Public Schools
More than 700 Schools – Including all in Manhattan and Staten Island - Now Participating

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 | Vito A. Turso/Belinda A. Mager

Press Release # 14-65, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced a substantial expansion of the Department’s in-school organics collection program. Beginning October 6, more than 720 schools will be part of the program, more than a doubling the size of last year’s program.

The Organics Collection Program aims to keep organic materials – food scraps, soiled paper, and yard waste – from ending up in a landfill. These materials make up about one-third of our waste stream, and are recyclable. Organic materials may be turned into compost or processed into natural gas.

“We are very thankful to the Department of Education for partnering with us to bring expanded recycling programs to city schools,” said Sanitation Commissioner Garcia. “The partnership exemplifies how two large agencies can work together to make great strides to improve sustainability.”

Schools in all five boroughs receive separate collection of organics, including all public schools in Manhattan and Staten Island, and selected schools in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

“Our children are learning the importance of preserving our natural resources through initiatives like the Organics Collection Program,” Chancellor Carmen Fariña said. “Programs like these are integral for the health of our environment, and this expansion to schools in all boroughs is a great step. Commissioner Garcia and her team are leading the way for a healthier City through this important partnership.”

Schools participating in organics collection can recycle approximately 90 percent of their waste, allowing only 10 percent of a school’s waste to end up in a landfill.

“The program puts renewed interest in waste management and recycling inside schools,” continued Commissioner Garcia. “When we teach children to recycle in their school, they will often encourage their families to recycle at home.”

In addition to organics recycling, the Department of Sanitation also works with city schools on paper and cardboard recycling, metal, glass, plastic and carton recycling, and waste reduction.

For more information on organics recycling in city schools, visit

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.