Compost Food Scraps

Make landscape, not landfill! NYC residents can compost household food waste by simply dropping kitchen scraps at one of 60 GrowNYC Food Scrap Drop-off sites citywide, including Greenmarket, Youthmarket, Fresh Food Box, and On-the-Go locations.


Why compost?
Food comprises about 21% of NYC's 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?
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 food scrap 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, potting soil, and soiled brown paper products. [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, biodegradable/compostable plastics, or receipts.]

How should I store my food scraps?
Food scraps can be collected in large yogurt containers or other covered plastic containers, paper bags, plastic bags, milk cartons or in commercially-available compost pails. To reduce odors at home and at the collection sites, 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 more about organics recycling in NYC?
Visit to find workshops, guides for indoor and outdoor composting, a listing of community-based drop-off sites and to learn more about DSNY residential Organics Collection Program.

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


Join us for GrowNYC Eco Hour: Back to the Farm on Monday, September 11 at Project Farmhouse for drinks, local snacks, a live DJ and green conversation.⁠

  • Greenmarket

    Our network of farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Recycle

    We blanket the five boroughs with resources like textile and food scrap collection, Stop 'N' Swaps, and free training to make waste reduction easy for all.

  • Garden

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.