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First Commuter Composter drop-off site comes to Queens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Queens residents have a chance to build a greener community one apple core at a time.

The NYC Compost Project Local Organics Recovery Program, hosted by Build It Green! NYC (BIG!), sets up a weekly tent outside the Broadway N and Q train in Astoria on Tuesday mornings from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The tent houses the first Commuter Composter drop-off site for residents looking to help make a difference with their waste.

“Before they even get on the subway on their commute to work, they’ve given back,” said BIG compost project manager Louise Bruce.

The items gathered at the site will create a high quality natural compost that can be used by local parks, gardens or even home farms.

Whether they pick up brochures to find out more about the program or bring some scraps of food to drop-off, organizers have seen a positive reactions from residents.

“Most people are turning on to the idea and are really interested and looking for ways to participate and also learn,” said project coordinator Christopher Bivens as he handled the site Tuesday morning.

As of April 2012, the Department of Sanitation launched the program in order to provide residents with a range of opportunities to drop-off their food scraps and ensure they would be compost locally.

Along with the commuter drop-off, the program also runs different sites throughout western Queens, including the Steinway and Sunnyside branches of the Queens Public Library.

“People that are recycling are rewarded through more greening and beautification in their neighborhood,” Bruce said.

The drop-off sites accept frozen fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, dry grains, dead plants, corn cobs, food-soiled paper towels and napkins, newspaper, grass clippings, egg shells and many other items, excluding dairy and meat.

“I’m so inspired by all of them because they devote a space in their kitchen to save the food,” Bruce said.
The program hopes to expand the Commuter Composting pilot to other sites and also continue their growth of other drop-off locations around Queens.

 

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| jlane@queenscourier.com

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