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Sign-Ups Needed To
Bring Curbside Composting To Forest Hills
Patch, August 4, 2021

FOREST HILLS, QUEENS — Curbside composting is coming back to the city this fall, as promised, but neighbors in Forest Hills have to express interest in the service in order to participate.

The "opt-in" municipal composting program, which allows New York City residents to sustainably dispose of food scraps right alongside their trash and recycling bags, was suspended as a cost-saving measure amid the pandemic, but it's returning this fall on a rolling basis, based on the number of sign-ups in each neighborhood, according to the city.

"The more sign-ups in your area, the quicker service will start," the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announced. "This way we can ensure there will be enough material set out for our trucks to pick up."

While some neighborhoods in the city are already eligible for service — including large swaths of northeast Queens and Long Island City — Forest Hills is an area where service isn't offered yet, despite community support for a local compost drop-off site.

The way to change that, however, is to have enough people sign up.

Curbside composting is offered in residential buildings of all sizes, according to the DSNY, but multi-unit apartments require approval — in the form of a sign-up — from a building manager or board members, the agency said.

Once approved, the city will give households a brown composting bin, in which they can put food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste.

These compostable materials make up a third of the trash that New Yorkers throw away, according to the DSNY, but can be added to "[nourish] our soil for healthier parks and gardens," the agency said.

Not only does composting make the city more sustainable by reducing waste sent to landfills, the city's sanitation agency says it also inhibits rats from getting into the trash.

"Our brown bins have latching lids that make it harder for rodents and pests to get to your food waste. It's much easier for them to rip open a bag at the curb," the DSNY said.

And it's not just the sanitation department that loves composting — this April Mayor Bill de Blasio had a conversation with a brown composting bin about how happy he was to see the curbside program's comeback."I was so excited about today's organics announcement that I lost my compost-ure for a moment this morning. It's bin a long year for us all," tweeted the mayor after the conversation.

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