I currently live in Manhattan and I love the idea of composting, I want to compost, but I feel like it is impossible when you dont have a yard (or a deck) just a loft apartment! I would love some suggestions on city composting, maybe which route to go and which composters take up little space, and give off no oder. Thanks!
Maybe, worm composting or an electric composter (mixed reviews)? I think that if you feed it properly, and keep the process going, there would be little or no odor. Worth a try! You will need to have a way to use the finished product, of course.
I'm surprised there is no curbside pickup for municipal composting.
Hi, Madelynn. You can drop off your compost scraps at the Union Square Greenmarket (and I believe they are expanding to other locations in Manhattan). Additional info is here. If you want to start your own compost heap and have limited space, worm composting, Bokashi, or the Naturemill electric composter are probably your best bets. Green Depot has a good selection of products to get you started. The trick to reducing odor is to limit the type of food scraps you put in the compost (no dairy, oils, or meat products) and initially freezing the stinkiest foods before tossing them in the compost. If you decide to use the Greenmarket drop-off, you can just freeze all your scraps until collection day. Hope this helps!
Municipal composting in NYC is currently limited to leaves, branches and Christmas trees. There are a number of community composting sites that include food scraps, but nothing as extensive as the curbside compost pickup service that San Francisco has.
Awesome. Thanks for the help everyone.
And SO good to hear about the Union Square! I bet they dont do that in the winter time do they?
And my other problem is that I dont really have any use for the soil, the outcome of the compost- and I dont have anywhere to store it or keep it. But these suggestions are such a wonderful start! Thanks!
Just thinking out loud, but also consider how to minimize your organic waste. Shop were you can shuck your corn, buy ONLY what you need, buy organic so you don't have to peel veggies, keep a jar in the freezer to collect the makings for stock (celery tops, onion peels, corn cobs, mushroom stems, cheese rinds). research cooking what you normally would discard (Lettuce cores can be gently cooked), feed the birds (as you know seagulls and pigeons seem to eat anything), buy minimally packaged (e.g., shelled nuts, vs in the shell, boneless/skinless meat vs whole, have the butcher trim your meats), and finally, research what can be done with scraps. I have a dehydrator and find that I can dry, store, and use all sorts of [odd] things. I dry lots of surplus foods for later use: mushrooms, tomatoes, parsley/spinach/herb stems, celery leaves, etc. I've even taken saved up veg. stock scraps from the freezer and dried when they got out of control. Once dried, foods can be stored indefinitely, even pulverized if you want. Use lateral thinking. Citrus peels: fresh/frozen= zest, marmalade, dried= flavoring; cucumber peels= facials (or buy the burpless, English cuke), etc. Leftover pasta, rice, gravy can be dried as well as frozen. Coffee grounds can be put directly around certain plants. And on, and on.....
Might be fun to do a month challenge and see how little you discard.
Well, I *wish* I had an Excalibur, but I have the "Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator" with extra trays and screens. And, yes, its almost all plastic :-(((
They are a bit noisy, and your home will have a "fragrance" when drying some things, but I will never run short of mushrooms, etc. There are Yahoo Groups with a dehydrator/preserving focus, and might be worth perusing the files before purchasing.
Folks can get pretty obsessive, as with any gadget.
Just wanted to mention that the NYC Greenmarket has expanded its compost drop-off locations to 11 different sites in the city (including Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn). Here's a link to the website, with more information.
I compost most food waste for an apartment of SIX recent college grads in the East Village (I say most because two roommates have been slow to adapt). Here's what we do:
- the bottom freezer drawer is for compost. I found a nice large tuperwear container that fits right in, and if we have old plastic bags (that said roommates often bring home) I use those too.
- I made a big sign above the garbage can that says "is that food?? put it in the compost!"
- whenever it starts to fill that freezer drawer, I bring it to the Union Square Greenmarket which has Compost drop off on the 17th street side, sort of near Sephora or Children's Place) every MWFS starting at around 8 am.
- we eat very little meat, so we can compost almost everything we eat.
SOOO EASY!!! It just needs to be a routine ... if you don't live or work in this area, you could start making a Saturday morning Greenkmarket trip.
And the compost drop of is definitly there year round.