GrowNYC’s Greenmarket Compost Drop-Offs Are Gone for Good
New Yorkers dropping off organic waste at GrowNYC’s Cortelyou Greenmarket drop-off site in December (Hell Gate)

GrowNYC’s Greenmarket Compost Drop-Offs Are Gone for Good

Community composting got $6.2 million in the budget, but the climate-saving initiative has had a "bittersweet" few weeks.

The good news, for New Yorkers who like to turn their organic waste into nutritious compost, is that the City Council and the Adams administration dedicated $6.2 million in funding for 15 different community composting groups for the coming fiscal year, and that funding cannot be cut later on by an austerity-minded mayor.

The bad news is that $6.2 million is not nearly enough to meet the demand for community composting in New York City, and as a result, one of the city's most popular compost collection programs is finished—GrowNYC's popular Greenmarket compost drop-off sites are not coming back.

GrowNYC was able to keep operating their dozens of compost collection sites across the five boroughs thanks to an anonymous donation back in December, which temporarily shielded them from the mayor's mid-year budget cuts in November. But when that money ran out this past May, they had to shut down their sites and lay off dozens of workers.

While GrowNYC is getting a slice of the $6.2 million, it's significantly less than they have received in the past, and they still won't be able to reopen the Greenmarket collection sites. "The funding we received is not nearly enough to rebuild our old programming," the group's spokesperson Andrina Sanchez told Hell Gate. In a statement that was sent later, GrowNYC said that while they were deeply appreciative of Speaker Adrienne Adams and City Council Sanitation chair Shaun Abreu, they were now going to "reenvision our waste reduction programming."

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