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Press Release #16-57
Monday, November 14, 2016
CONTACT: Vito A. Turso/Belinda Mager 646-885-5020

NYC Achievement: NYC Will Have Largest Organic Waste Curbside Collection Program in Nation

DSNY’s Expansion of Food Scraps and Yard Waste Collection in Queens Makes Program Available to More Than 961,000 Residents

The New York City Department of Sanitation is expanding its NYC Organics curbside food and yard waste recycling program to residents in Queens’ Community Board 11, making the program the largest in the nation. The Department is in the process of distributing collection bins to those living in the participating area. Collection begins December 5. Assembly Member David Weprin and Council Member Barry Grodenchik both attended a bin-delivery event in Douglaston, Queens.

“Organic materials make up about a third of the material we throw away. When you recycle your food scraps and yard waste, you decrease the amount of garbage going to landfills and help create a greener and healthier New York City,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

“As Vice Chair of the New York State Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee I am proud to see the people of New York take a step towards zero waste being sent to landfills by 2030. More importantly, I am happy that the Department of Sanitation is taking the time to involve the community members in this process and educate residents about the benefits of the organics bins in the neighborhood,” said Senator Tony Avella.

“As the curbside collection of organic waste continues to expand, I am happy that Queens Community Board 11 is now a part of the City's initiative to contribute zero waste to landfills by 2030. The more effort we put into reducing waste, reusing and recycling, the quicker we pave the way for a brighter, sustainable future,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic.

“I am pleased that the voluntary NYC Organics curbside food and yard waste recycling program is expanding to Queens’ Community Board 11, which includes the Oakland Gardens neighborhood of the 24th Assembly District,” said Assemblyman David Weprin. “Recycling makes New York a cleaner and healthier place to live and I encourage the residents of Oakland Gardens, as well as their neighbors in the surrounding communities, to participate in this environmentally beneficial program.”

Who can participate?

All single-family homes and buildings with nine or fewer residential units are 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, 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 pick up day.

The collected material is managed locally and regionally. Some organic waste is turned into compost, and used locally by greening groups, such as urban farmers, 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 of any kind, even if labeled biodegradable
  • Liquids
  • Foam items
  • Animal waste, cigarettes and ashes, and medical waste

Other options for food scraps:

Residents not served by the pilot program may visit food scrap drop-off programs offered throughout all five boroughs. For more information, 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 more than 2,000 rear-loading collection trucks, 450 mechanical brooms and 689 salt/sand spreaders. The Department clears litter, snow and ice from approximately 6,500 miles of City streets and removes debris from vacant lots as well as abandoned vehicles from City streets.