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Compost Food Scraps at Greenmarket


Make landscape, not landfill! Shoppers at select Greenmarkets can drop off fruit and vegetable scraps to be transformed into compost.

Why compost?
Food comprises about 17% of NYCs waste stream. When this material is sent to a landfill it contributes to NYCs disposal costs and can create greenhouse gas emissions. When composted, food scraps and other organic waste become a useful product that adds nutrients and improves the quality of soil for street trees, gardens and more.

What happens to food scraps dropped off at Greenmarket?
Your household food scraps will be transported to one of several NYC compost sites to be transformed into a fertile soil amendment for use on local urban farming and gardening projects.

Can businesses drop off materials to compost?
No. Commercial food scraps are not accepted at these sites. Businesses should contact a hauler who can handle commercially-generated organic waste.

What can I bring to the compost collection sites?
Accepted materials include fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps (rice, pasta, bread, cereal etc.), coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, egg and nut shells, pits, cut or dried flowers, houseplants and potting soil. [Please NO meat, chicken, fish, greasy food scraps, fat, oil, dairy, animal waste, litter or bedding, coal or charcoal, coconuts, diseased and/or insect-infested houseplants/soil or biodegradable/compostable plastics.]

YES, we want your leaves and pumpkins!  Please bag leaves separately from food scraps.  LEAVES NOT ACCEPTED AT UNION SQUARE GREENMARKET.

How should I store my food scraps?
Food scraps can be collected in large yogurt containers or other covered plastic containers, plastic bags, milk cartons or in commercially-available compost pails. To reduce odors at home and at the Greenmarket, store items in the freezer or refrigerator. A layer of shredded newspaper at the bottom of your storage container also helps.

How can I learn to compost at home?
Visit www.nyc.gov/wasteless/compostproject to find workshops and guides for setting up a worm composting bin in your apartment or managing an outdoor compost bin for your home or garden.

The GrowNYC & DSNY Greenmarket Food Scrap Compost Program is a partnership between the City of New York, the NYC Department of Sanitation, GrowNYC, and community partners.