Compost Food Scraps

Important Notice on the Suspension of GrowNYC’s Recycling Programs (click to read PDF)


Read our Blog Post - How to Keep Composting in NYC During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Make landscape, not landfill! NYC residents can compost household food waste by simply dropping kitchen scraps at one of 70 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.

How has participation in the GrowNYC Compost Program changed over time?

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.


In a moment where New Yorkers have turned to parks and gardening to ease the mental and emotional strain the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on residents, when the need for education surrounding nutrition and health couldn’t be more critical, the same nonprofits that make green space and nutrition education possible are in danger of going under, while vital city agencies like the New York City Parks Department’s GreenThumb program are facing severe budget cuts.

  • Food Access & Agriculture

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

  • Conservation

    We provide food scrap drop-offs, clothing collections, Stop 'N' Swap® community reuse events, and zero waste trainings to make resource conservation easy for all.

  • Green Space

    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.