Save Our Compost NYC!
TAKE ACTION to #SaveOurCompost
We need your help right now.
Take Action to save NYC composting!
New York City composting (aka organics collection) has ended.
Currently, there is NO public option for composting of valuable food scraps.
TODAY! Submit your written testimony to NYC Council
(Use a testimony template --->
or see CafCu's written testimony below)
New-Yorkers want a resilient city, zero waste, healthy.
Compost is essential!
Here the 3 ways to submit your testimony:.
1) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) submit written testimony via the Council's website at council.nyc.gov/testify
3) submit testimony directly to the Office of Management and Budget via https://www1.nyc.gov/site/omb/contact/send-a-message-to-budget-director.page .
Please submit your testimony in all THREE WAYS.
May 21 is the day of the Executive Budget Hearing about composting, the last opportunity for the public to formally express how essential community organics collection is!
And post on Social Media:
#saveourcompost #resilientcity #nyc #sustainability #composting
Over 1,000 concerned New Yorkers joined the virtual
for the #SaveOurCompost Town Hall (see video below)
1- Contact your NY City Council member and let them know that community composting programs are essential in NYC!
2- Contact NYC Council Speaker Cory Johnson.
Thank him for his previous support for a law to mandate citywide composting.
3- SIGN THESE 2 PETITIONS!
- Sign the change.org petition --->
- and sign this to support COMMUNITY COMPOSTING!! -->>
4- Share this message with your friends, neighbors and colleagues.
It's New York City budget season and due to the unprecedented crisis, of COVID-19, the Mayor has cut all citywide composting funding.
Funding has been cut for New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) curbside composting program (as of May 4, 2020), community composting, and for GrowNYC Zero Waste Programs and NYC Compost Project host sites, which encompasses 8 non-profit organizations who are dependent on NYC funds to provide public composting services (at least for one year).
COMPOSTING IS ESSENTIAL
The way to save money is to expand the program, not cut it!
We must plan for the future, reduce our solid waste, and protect our vulnerable communities who bare the burden of our garbage.
Cutting funding for citywide composting is short sighted, dangerous, and one giant step backwards in our fight to mitigate the climate crisis.
NYC spends about 1/2 a billion tax dollars annually to export our garbage to out-of-state incinerators and landfills with is rapidly rising price tag. Food waste and organics account for roughly a third of our waste stream.
Reverting to a “food waste is trash” culture will not only increase methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas that is 84 times greater than CO2 (per unit of mass over a 20 year period), but will set us back years in the effort to educate communities on zero waste. Our children and vulnerable communities deserve better.
Organics make up about 1/3 of our city's waste stream. Whether sent to landfills or incinerators, food scraps as trash contribute significantly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is the perfect time to create more "green" jobs and to push forward with a citywide mandate of compost collection as part of plan for mitigating the climate crisis.
DSNY was collecting 308,600 pounds of organics (food scraps, yard waste, and other material) for recycling (composting or anaerobically digesting) every day.
(see NYC Department of Sanitation’s latest annual report).
Cafeteria Culture's testimony to New York City Council Committee on Finance, May 21, 2020
Re: restoring funds for community composting
Cafeteria Culture Testimony to:
New York City Council and the New York City Office of Management and Budget
May 21, 2020
Cafeteria Culture urges the City Council to ensure that the City’s residents can continue to engage is some form of organics recycling and composting by immediately restoring the funding to our community-based composting programs. The Administration’s decision to slash the DSNY budget, including cutting the $28 million for composting organic waste and recycling education and outreach, is one giant step backwards in our efforts to mitigate the climate crisis. What we “save” now, will surely cost us dearly in the very near future, negatively impacting the lives of out most vulnerable communities and all of our children.
Cafeteria Culture (CafCu), founded as Styrofoam Out of Schools, works with youth to creatively achieve zero waste, climate smart schools communities and a plastic free biosphere. We teach innovative environmental education that fosters youth-led solutions by merging citizen science, civic action, media and the arts. Students in our programs, overwhelmingly from lower income communities of color and living in public housing, are providing an urgently needed voice to our City’s zero waste and climate movement. CafCu’s unique partnerships with schools and student leadership opportunities in the cafeteria helped the City with the launching the first school composting pilot programs.
The Mayor’s proposed budget to cut funding for citywide composting is short sighted and dangerous. The long-term implications of such budget cuts will no doubt set the City way back on our hard earned progress towards zero waste, as well as sustainable behavioral changes for many of our City’s residents. We are still recovering from similar setbacks caused by the recycling cuts after 9/11. The climate crisis may soon overshadow the pandemic and we cannot risk another 20 year recovery period to rebuild the groundwork for ensuring a sustainable composting culture for ALL City residents.
Food scraps and organics account for roughly a third of our waste stream. Our rapidly rising price tag of almost 1/2 a billion tax dollars annually to export our garbage to (mostly) out-of-state incinerators and landfills is not disappearing. In fact, these proposed budget cuts to the organics collection can only drive this cost higher and more rapidly, while simultaneously increasing our City’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The cuts to the NYC Compost project and partners and to GrowNYC together, approximately $7 million, allows New Yorkers to continue diverting food scraps, thus preventing a meaningful percentage of our City’s waste stream from going to landfills, where it is destined to emit methane, a powerfully destructive greenhouse gas or to an incinerator in Newark NJ, that has negatively impacted that community for over 20 years.
The restoration of this funding, a very small percentage of the DSNY budget, would ensure that:
Additionally, restoring and maintaining City Council funding for zero waste education and outreach at this time is critical. We must ensure that all New Yorkers, especially our children, are able to bridge the connection between food as garbage and the climate crisis. We have no time to waste and hope the Council prioritizes this urgent need in the budget process.
Cafeteria Culture also requests that the Council restore and increase funding for residential and school organics collections, the next step to be focused on passing the CORE Act, introduced last week by Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Keith Powers. This should be followed by the long term, climate smart solution of mandating citywide composting, allowing us to reap the full benefits of an organics collection program that will provide a source of income to the city while benefiting our city for future generations.
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