Composting some of the near 650,000 tons of food that New York City residents toss each year just became a little easier. Queens residents can now help in the effort to reduce food waste with nonprofit program Build It Green! NYC’s new program, BIG!Compost. This initiative has introduced a new compost station outside of the Broadway N and Q train station in Astoria, Queens where commuters can conveniently drop off their scrap food on their way to work.
The pilot program’s site is open on Tuesdays from 8am-10am where compost is collected and processed for use by the city in public parks and gardens. The Brooklyn Grange also uses the collected compost for its rooftop farm on Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.
Commuters can compost their fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, nuts and a variety of other foods (excluding meats) as well as plants that can be turned into mulch. Residents are advised to save their compost in Tupperware or Ziplock bags and store them in the freezer in-between drop-offs to avoid attracting fruit flies and other unwanted pests.
Additional scrap food drop-off locations in the Queens area include the Queens Library in Steinway on Mondays; Thursdays at Hour Children in Long Island City; and Saturdays at the Sunnyside and Broadway Queens Libraries.