Astoria
Jun 04, 2019

Getting Dirty: How to Compost in Astoria

As people become more educated about the environmental effects humans have on the planet, especially with garbage, we’re more aware than ever of being selective about using and disposing of (…)

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You can bring your compost to the Socrates Sculpture Greenmarket, thanks to Build It Green!NYC

As people become more educated about the environmental effects humans have on the planet, especially with garbage, we’re more aware than ever of being selective about using and disposing of harmful items like plastics. But, there is even more we can do. Did you know that an entire 1/3 of waste produced by New Yorkers is yard waste and food scraps?

One easy way to use that waste for good to create soil or renewable energy—oh, and stop tempting roaches and rats in your apartment—is by dropping off your food scraps for composting! Don’t let the process intimidate you. Thanks to the Department of Sanitation’s Organics Collection Program it has gotten much easier for city residents to participate. All you have to do is drop off your scraps at designated sites and the department will make sure they are composted locally.

First-off, a few best practices:

  • YES, BRING: Fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps (rice, pasta, bread, cereal, etc.), coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, egg shells, nut shells, pits, cut or dried flowers, houseplants, potting soil
  • NO, DON’T BRING: Meat, fish, bones, greasy food scraps, fat, oil, dairy, animal waste
    (including litter and bedding), coal or charcoal, coconuts, diseased and/or insect-infested plants/soil, biodegradable/compostable plastics
  • STORING YOUR SCRAPS: To reduce odor and prevent pests, store your food scraps in a paper bag or reusable container in your freezer or refrigerator.

Now, where & when to drop-off (even I didn’t know the libraries were an option!):

  • 21st St F Station (NW Corner of 21st St at 41st Ave): Tuesdays 8-11am
  • Big Reuse Queens at 3-17 26th Ave, Astoria: M-F 10am-6pm; Sat-Sun 10am-5pm
  • Broadway N/Q (32-15 31st St): Tuesdays 8-11am
  • Queens Library at Broadway (40-20 Broadway): Mondays 1-7pm
  • Queens Library at Steinway (21-45 31st St): Tuesdays 8-11am. UPDATE (from reader): Since the Steinway Library is closed for renovations, the compost drop-off is located under the Amtrak bridge at the Ditmars subway stop, on the east side of 31st St.
  • Socrates Sculpture Park (Broadway & Vernon Blvd): Daily 9am-Sunset
  • Sunnyside Greenmarket (Skillman Ave & 43rd St): Saturdays 8am-2pm
  • Jackson Heights Greenmarket (34th Ave & 77th St): Sundays 8am-2pm

Will you be making a renewed (no pun intended) effort to compost more this summer? Let us know if you have any other questions about this program!

10 Comments

Joey

What about for recycling TVs and electronics? The events at the park seem only 2x year and Best Buy charges? Is there a place in queens to drop off? Thanks!

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Ap

Big Reuse Queens closed over a year ago – is there still a compost drop off there?

I’ve been doing compost drop offs for maybe 4 years at this point, and it makes a huge difference! Much less trash, trash is less smelly, and fewer fruit fly issues!

Reply
Lily

Yes, Hellgate Farm at 14-33 30th Drive accepts scraps in a DSNY-bin from Wednesdays through Sundays. Please no bread products, though!

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Christin

Thanks for sharing
I think you are missing Queens Library: Astoria. I saw someone dropping off outside.

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Claire Leaden

I think that is Queens Library Broadway at 40-20 Broadway, no? Or is there another you’re referring to? Thank you!

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John Surico

Three branches in Astoria: the Astoria branch (near the river); the Steinway branch (under renovation); and the Broadway branch (at 40-20 Broadway)!

Reply
John Surico

You can always drop off compost at the Astoria branch of Queens Library, when it’s open!

Reply
Koto

Since the Steinway Library is closed for renovations, the compost drop-off is located under the Amtrak bridge at the Ditmars subway stop, on the east side of 31st St.

Reply

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