The New York City Department of Sanitation has installed 16 pioneering “Smart Bins” to collect food scraps in Astoria, Queens. Along with a similar pilot launched by Alliance for Downtown New York in Lower Manhattan this week, these bins are the first test of an effort to allow round-the-clock drop-off of compostable material.
DSNY collects 12,000 tons of trash and recycling each day, and up to a third of the waste stream may be compostable. When sent to a landfill, instead of becoming high-quality reusable soil, this material emits methane and contributes to climate change. “Whether it’s the steady roll-out of curbside composting, the addition of more community-based food scrap drop off sites, or these new Smart Bins, DSNY is committed to getting compostable material out of landfills. We are excited to see how these new bins perform, and urge everyone who lives or works near one to give them a try,” said Edward Grayson, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation.
These new bins will be opened by a key-card by residents who sign up to use them, ensuring that only compostable material is placed inside. A full map of the locations and information on how to sign up can be found at smartcompost.nyc.