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Organic waste recycling expanding in the Bronx, Queens

The city's Department of Sanitation is expanding its food scrap and yard waste collection program, NYC Organics.
nyc organics
The Department of Sanitation is distributing its brown NYC Organics bins in Queens neighborhoods this month. Photo: NYC Sanitation / Twitter

Bronx and Queens residents will soon have another recycling bin to set out.

NYC Organics, the city’s food scrap and yard waste recycling program, is expanding to more neighborhoods in the two boroughs, the Department of Sanitation announced this week.

Beginning this week, the department will be collecting food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste from Bronx residents living in Riverdale, Fieldston, Baychester, Eastchester and Woodlawn.

Queens residents will be the next to get NYC Organics collection bins. The department has begun to distribute the brown bins to those in Flushing, College Point, Whitestone, Jamaica Estates, Hollis Hills, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Utopia and Pomonok.

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Bins will be delivered throughout September and curbside collection will start in those neighborhoods the week of Oct. 2.

NYC Organics bills itself as the “largest curbside collection program of food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste in the nation,” according to the Department of Sanitation. The organic waste is turned into compost then used by urban farmers or community gardens, or into renewable energy.

Organic material makes up “about a third of what we throw away, but it’s not trash,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia in a statement. “Putting your food scraps and yard waste to good use decreases the amount of garbage going to landfills and helps create a greener and healthier New York City.”

The program is currently available to more than 2.5 million city residents. The department aims to make it available to all New Yorkers by the end of 2018, either as a curbside service or through neighborhood drop-off sites. 

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