What Goes Around: NYC Recycles Organics

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ron Gonen, NYC's first-ever deputy commissioner of sanitation, recycling and sustainability, joins us weekly in April to talk about recycling in NYC. This week: organics.  Do you compost food waste now?



Ron Gonen

Comments [21]

Topiary from Brooklyn

What about plastic bags? When is NYC going to ban them? And when will we force manufacturers to provide BIODEGRADABLE "plastics"?

Jun. 18 2013 10:45 AM
Margaret from UWS

Sure they still sell clear trash bags! Note: the $1.49 per 12 bags at the 99 cent store is better than the 9.99 for 45 at Walgreen's, unless the large amount is on half price sale. I'm going to experiment with making household rags out of discarded clothing - avoid microfiber, plastic sponges, and plastic-handled implements. Ideally, EVERYTHING shoud be recycled - beyond that, landfills should be hygienically separated-out categories of everything, so we can go back and get the stuff to recycle later.

Apr. 11 2013 12:46 PM
chanmett from Flushing

Will any of the Composting organizations pick up Vegetable Wastes like Potato Skins, carrot Peels etc from restaurants. This will also eliminate lots of trash that are compostable....

Apr. 11 2013 11:38 AM
Jf from Ny

Frameshops ,galleries, and art handling companies waste enourmous amounts of materials, plastic, paper, glass. It never gets .never! Lunch containers too!

Apr. 11 2013 11:06 AM

When I first moved to Park Slope in 1994, there was a pilot organic waste collection program, which was cancelled. What went wrong with that program, or what was learned?

Apr. 11 2013 10:59 AM
John A

The odd clunk of keeping organics out of landfills is this: what is land? It's soil that has built up out of organic waste and natural processes.

Apr. 11 2013 10:58 AM
RJ from prospect hts

What about sorting noncompostables from the proper organics? People inevitably will accidently put in things that can't be composted.

What happens to the textiles? There are worrisome nonprofits that "sell" them overseas.

Apr. 11 2013 10:58 AM

They still sell clear recycling bags!

I just saw some at Pathmark yesterday.

Apr. 11 2013 10:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I keep my food waste in emptied chip bags (so at least they get 1 reuse) in the fridge. I usually have 2 bags a week to take to the Greenmarket. No need to put it in the freezer.

Apr. 11 2013 10:58 AM
Marie Viljoen from Cobble Hill

I am an organic gardener and would like to know if the resulting compost will be sold back to us? If we donate our food scraps to the composting program might we get some credits towards our compost purchase?

Apr. 11 2013 10:57 AM
kerrie anne from manhattan

why doesn't the city have those black roundish composters like the one on 8th ave and 23 rd st cnr on every block in nyc

Apr. 11 2013 10:56 AM
Burtnor from Manhattan

Older buildings do not allow disposals in sinks because plumbing can't handle the volume of waste. That's most buildings.

Apr. 11 2013 10:55 AM
Amy from Manhattan

The compost program at the Greenmarket at Union Square has a list of things not to include, & a major item is fats. I have a feeling a lot of people don't pay attention to this, & if food waste collection is done from residences, it will probably be the same way. How will the Sanitation Dept. address this?

Apr. 11 2013 10:55 AM

Are they collecting meat as well other plant and vegetable materials?

Apr. 11 2013 10:55 AM
joan from nyc

why not flush food wastes that are liquid or mush down the toilet?

Apr. 11 2013 10:55 AM
sara from nyc

I drop mine at the Union Square site and I'm going to buy a bag of their compost to mix with the soil around the tree in front of my building (despite the fact that it smells like a mini dog-run) :)

Apr. 11 2013 10:54 AM
Bill Turnbull from Midtown

Doing your own composting releases just as much methane as sending it to the landfill.

The soil you reap is a benefit, but it can also attract rats. . .

Apr. 11 2013 10:54 AM
Shana from Brooklyn

Is there a place to get the soil with compost in Brooklyn?

Apr. 11 2013 10:53 AM

Can Mr. Gonen talk about whether or not food waste on paper stops the paper from being recycleable? Can we recycle pizza boxes and the like?

Apr. 11 2013 10:48 AM
Nancy from Manhattan

When are we (finally!) going to be able to recycle yogurt container-type plastics?! Brian, please ask Mr. Gonen. Thank you.

Apr. 11 2013 10:47 AM
mbk from manhattan

I started saving my organics last summer. I put it all in the freezer and bring it to the farmers market on Saturdays. Once you start doing this, you become reluctant to throw any of this stuff in the garbage.

Apr. 11 2013 10:47 AM

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