Downtown Alliance Completes Successful 18-Month Pilot of Public Compost Program
The Downtown Alliance has successfully completed an 18-month pilot program for its public compost initiative. In December 2021, the Downtown Public Compost Pilot Program launched with 10 compost locations across Lower Manhattan. The program was the first in the nation to utilize mobile technology for secured access, designed by emz, making drop-off composting easy and accessible to the public 24/7.
Since the program began, 2,540 users signed up for the app — keeping over 105,000 pounds of organic waste out of landfills. The average monthly weight of collected compost steadily grew throughout the program, reaching its highest point in June of 2023. According to a user survey, 40 percent of users were first-time composters who had previously been throwing their food waste in the trash, indicating that people are willing to compost if they have an easy and convenient way to do so.
“The success of this initiative has provided a powerful proof point for the Department of Sanitation as it launches its citywide composting program,” said Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin. “Our goal from the beginning of this program was to change peoples’ behavior by diverting food waste from our landfills and working towards the city’s zero-waste goal. The stats bear out that we have been impactful. ”
Beginning June 28, the Downtown Public Compost Pilot Program will no longer be operational, and users will transition to dropping off their compost in the NYC Department of Sanitation’s Smart Composting Bins. DSNY has already installed new bins downtown, with 11 bins currently located across Lower Manhattan.
“New Yorkers want to compost. You just need to make it easy. We are thrilled to have installed our popular NYC Smart Composting Bins in Lower Manhattan, and thank the Downtown Alliance for their early support of this program,” said Jessica Tisch, Commissioner, New York City Department of Sanitation.
Users can find and open the bins with the NYC Compost app at the links below. A QR code to download the app also appears on each bin.
Anyone interested can also continue to drop off compost at the following locations and times:
- 75 Battery Place: 24/7
- Battery Park City Authority Rockefeller Park: 24/7
- Tribeca Greenmarket: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More information on the locations, operating hours and accepted materials for the sites above, as well as find other drop-off locations throughout the city, can be found here: https://www.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/site/services/food-scraps-and-yard-waste-page/nyc-food-scrap-drop-off-locations