nyc community composting

July 9, 2024 | Collection, Community Composting, Composting, Food Waste, Policies + Regulations

NYC Council Restores Community Composting In FY2025 Budget

Top: Lower East Side Ecology Center (LESEC) received substantial funding in the restored budget to build new community composting infrastructure. Photo courtesy of LESEC

The New York City (NYC) Council and Mayor Eric Adams agreed on a Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget that restores $6.25 million in funding for community composting, reviving a program that was axed by the Mayor’s budget cuts in the fall but received strong political support from NYC Council members, and tremendous support from citizens, businesses, and nonprofit advocacy groups. The Council also shifted the funding mechanism for the community composting program in a way that shields it from future budget cuts by the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the Adams administration. The budget provides substantial funding to the Lower East Side Ecology Center for new community composting infrastructure. A summary of the funding allocation among NYC community composters is on page 91 of the Council’s FY2025 budget. GrowNYC did receive funding in the FY2025 budget, but it isn’t enough to enable the organization to restart collection of residential food scraps at NYC’s Greenmarkets. “While we are immensely grateful for NYC Council’s support and funding, GrowNYC’s compost program is not coming back in the near future,” said Andrina Sanchez, GrowNYC’s Communications Lead in an email to BioCycle. “The new, one year discretionary funding that GrowNYC received is 10% of our previous zero waste budget and will not allow us to re-launch the program we had before.”

The restoration of the funding, which never should have been cut by Mayor Adams and DSNY, helps to stabilize NYC’s community composting infrastructure. The news, however, is bittersweet because Big Reuse, one of NYC’s longest running composters, was evicted on June 30 from its location under the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City (Queens) by the NYC Parks Department, which will be converting the site into a parking lot for City vehicles and private vehicles of employees.

Sign up