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DSNY to expand recycled organics collection program into Sunset Park

Don’t trash those potato skins!

A pilot program to provide voluntary curbside pickup for recycled organics, aka composting material, is set to expand in southwest Brooklyn by April and May, 2014, according to the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), which kicked off the program last September in Greenwood Heights and Windsor Terrace to mostly positive feedback.

The program will roll out in parts of Sunset Park, as well as Park Slope, Gowanus and Bay Ridge this spring, with once-a-week curbside pick-up from brown bins provided by DOS and/or clear plastic bags. Recycled organic materials include food scraps, food-soiled paper, and leaf and yard waste. A citywide roll-out is planned for 2015.

Reception to the past five months of pick-ups in Windsor Terrace and Greenwood Heights has been positive, said local resident and Community Board Seven board member Christine Petro. “I see the brown bins out on collection day in my part of the neighborhood, which means people are participating,” Petro said. “I think it is a great service to introduce in the neighborhood and hope that the expansion is successful.”

DSNY official(s) will meet with Sunset Park and Greenwood Heights residents to explain the pilot program further at an as-yet-determined upcoming meeting of CB 7’s Sanitation Committee, said CB 7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer.

“People are changing how they’re dealing with their garbage,” Laufer explained. “Right now, participation is voluntary, so it’s a question of whether information is getting out there.”

The goal of the program is to save more than $85 million per year—the amount spent in 2012—from exporting organics to out-of-state landfills, according to DOS.

“By launching our organics collection program, we will help the city reduce trash disposal costs and create renewable energy or compost—a natural fertilizer,” said Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty. “As we continue to expand the program, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced and, most importantly, the city will move closer to achieving its recycling goals.”

Small residential buildings (nine units or less) and private homes in the pick-up area will receive brown collection containers from DSNY to store food scraps, plants, yard waste and paper that has food residue on it until pick-up.

Residential buildings with 10 or more units are not automatically included in the pilot, but are encouraged to enroll on a voluntary basis by filling out the inquiry form at nyc.gov/organics.

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