New York City plans kerbside food and garden waste collection

Mayor of New York City Eric Adams announced a plan for citywide kerbside collection for food and garden waste by the end of 2024. The program will collect food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste.

Mayor Adams NYC food waste binThe announcement came off the back of a trial that launched in August 2022 which provided weekly collections of compostable waste to all residential buildings in Queens - the first time that an entire borough received the service, making New York City the home to the largest composting program in the US.

The announcement was made at Adam’s State of the City address and forms part of his ‘Get Stuff Cleaner’ campaign. The mayor was in part elected to fight the growing problem of rats in New York City and he said that this service rollout will be benefitted by his current recruitment drive for a ‘somewhat bloodthirsty rat czar’.

Nine areas across New York’s five boroughs now have a compostable waste collection service. Residents of areas that do not currently have compost collection are encouraged to take their waste to an available drop-off site, add the waste to regular trash, or compost it at home.

Drop-off sites accept most food scraps, including fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags, nuts, bread, rice, and pasta. Garden waste is also accepted. However, no meat, bones, or dairy are taken, likely due to their tendency to attract vermin.

Residents who currently take part in the service are instructed to label their bins and line them with a plastic or a paper bag. This differs from the UK where food waste is currently collected in biodegradable bags.

Residents were originally given brown food waste caddies but the city has since stopped this provision. Those partaking in the scheme are now required to provide their own rigid plastic container.