Registration Now Open for Tours of NYC Composting Sites

Date: 17 Apr 2019 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail
New York City
Sunday, May 12, 2019

Five tours are offered to community composters as part of the 6th National Cultivating Community Composting ForumThank you to Renee Crowley and Gil Lopez of the NYC Compost Project (NYCCP) and Marc Shifflett of Compost+Co. for organizing our amazing tours! Thanks also to NYCCP for sponsoring our bus tours.

Bus Tour 1 – Brooklyn
Cost: $50 (includes lunch)
9:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Bus Tour 2 – Queens & Randall’s Island
Cost: $50 (includes lunch)
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Bike Tour & BBQ
Cost: $30 (includes BBQ dinner)
12:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tour of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm & Compost System
Cost: $10
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.






Bus Tour #1 – Brooklyn

Cost: $50 (includes lunch)
9:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

This bus tour sponsored by the New York City Compost Project will explore an array of Brooklyn’s community compost sites: Red Hook Community Farm, the Salt Lot Community Compost Site, East New York Farms!, and BK ROT. These sites highlight composting methods for both large and small operations and include 3-bin systems, hand-turned windrows, and aerated static piles. The organizational structures of these sites vary in the ways that they engage youth and volunteers, and whether they service commercial or residential material streams.

Red Hook Community Farm
The NYC Compost Project Hosted by Brooklyn Botanic Garden manages a remarkable composting operation on the site of Brooklyn’s Red Hook Community Farm, where their partner Added Value grows food. The site is among the largest in scale of community compost sites operating in New York City. The project is run entirely on renewable resources (solar, wind, and volunteer labor). More than 2,000 volunteers help in the compost effort each year, converting 150+ tons of organic materials into compost.

Salt Lot Community Compost Site
The Salt Lot Community Compost Site sits on property owned by the NYC Department of Sanitation on the banks of the Gowanus Canal. Here, the experienced operators from the NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse turn food scraps into compost. The compost is used by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy to maintain native plantings and beautify the site, making this one of the loveliest and most inviting of DSNY’s 40 salt storage facilities. Compost is also distributed to local greening initiatives as well as used to care for surrounding green infrastructure, which improves the long-term health of the canal and Gowanus watershed, an EPA Superfund site.

East New York Farms!
The mission of East New York Farms! is to organize youth and adults to address food justice in the community by promoting local sustainable agriculture and community-led economic development. They have composted for more than 15 years, as well as advocated for increased municipal composting and diversion of biodegradable materials. They collect food scraps year-round to process into nutrient-rich compost for farms and gardens in East New York to grow organic produce.

BK ROT is New York City’s first community-supported, bike-powered, fossil-fuel-free food scrap hauling and composting service. Their project is staffed by young people of color who haul organic material from small businesses and transform it into high-quality compost utilizing a multi-bin system. Their operations provide accessible jobs and sustained professional development for emerging environmental leaders.


Bus Tour #2 – Queens & Randall’s Island

Cost: $50 (includes lunch)
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

This bus tour sponsored by the New York City Compost Project will visit community compost sites in Queens and on Randall’s Island: Queens Botanical Garden, St. John’s University, Sunnyside Community Garden, and Randall’s Island Urban Farm. These sites showcase a variety of composting methods that include aerated piles, 3-bins, and other creative bin methods. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at institutional composting programs and also visit smaller-scale community-driven and educational programs.

Queens Botanical Garden Farm & Compost Site
The 1-acre QBG Farm & Compost Site is part of the NYC Compost Project Hosted by Queens Botanical Garden. With its compost bin display, 1-acre farm, and pollinator habitat, the site is demonstrating how New Yorkers can divert organic materials into compost to improve urban soils. By working together, QBG is supporting both the soil ecosystem and local community.

St. John’s University Compost System
While on the Queens Campus at St. John’s University you can expect to see  the University’s methods of food scrap pulping, feedstock mixing, loading an aerated static pile (ASP), compost screening, finished compost application, and compost tea brewing and application. Lunch will be provided by Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services along with an open forum discussion led by owners of

Sunnyside Community Garden
The Sunnyside Community Garden hosts a volunteer-run composting group, Sunny Compost, which accepts food scrap drop-offs during limited hours at the garden.

Randall’s Island Park Alliance Urban Farm
The Alliance Urban Farm is a 40,000 square foot environmentally sustainable garden and outdoor classroom at Randall’s Island Park. The Farm has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to plant, harvest, and compost, as well as to learn sustainable gardening practices such as rainwater capture, crop rotation, soil fertility, photosynthesis, pollination, and botany.


Bike Tour & BBQ

Cost: $30 (includes BBQ dinner)
12:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The bike tour will start on the Lower East Side and end in Long Island City. CitiBikes, a bike sharing company, is sponsoring this tour and providing the bikes! (Bring your own helmet if you want one.) The ride is 9 miles total and moderate difficulty (mainly flat, crosses one major bridge and one moderate bridge). The tour will highlight a number of composting methods, including bokashi, aerated static piles, a GORE Cover system, and a bike hauling operation. Sites include: El Sol Brillante Community Garden, Reclaimed Organics, La Casita Verde, Java Street Community Garden, The NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse’s Queensbridge site, and Smiling Hogshead Ranch. A BBQ dinner at Smiling Hogshead Ranch will cap off the tour!

El Sol Brillante
The tour of El Sol Brillante, a garden on the Lower East Side, features a bokashi system.

Reclaimed Organics
Reclaimed Organics, a bike micro-hauling company, operates out of a shipping container by the East Side Outside Community Garden. This visit will focus on discussing bike hauling operations and equipment, including Reclaimed Organics’ electric assist trike.

La Casita Verde
A GreenThumb and NYC Parks garden in Williamsburg with a solar-powered aerated static pile (ASP) system. The garden allows local residents to drop off their food scraps for free and offers a subscription pick-up service.

Java Street Community Garden
Java Street is a community garden for residents of Greenpoint. The tour will include an overview of its Biodynamic Vortex Compost Tea Brewer system.

Big Reuse Queensbridge Site
The Big Reuse composting site at Queensbridge includes an ASP system and a GORE Cover system.

Smiling Hogshead Ranch
Smiling Hogshead Ranch is a volunteer-run community garden in Long Island City that composts residential food scraps and yard clippings in six different ways, including a 3-bin system and a vermicomposting system. After the tour, Smiling Hogshead Ranch will host a BBQ for tour participants.


Tour of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm & Compost System

Cost: $10
10:00  a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Brooklyn Grange operates the world’s largest rooftop soil farms, located on three roofs in New York City, growing nearly 100,000 lbs organically-cultivated produce each year. Now in its ninth season, Brooklyn Grange also hosts events and educational programming, provides urban farming and green roof consulting and installation services to clients worldwide, and partners with numerous non-profit organizations throughout New York to promote healthy and strong local communities.

Join this guided tour to learn about Brooklyn Grange’s first rooftop farm located in Long Island City, Queens, and its O2Compost solar-powered system. The 1-acre (43,000 square foot) rooftop farm was built in 2010 and has roughly 1.2 million lbs of soil. The compost system handles vegetative by-products, chicken manure, food discards generated by food processing companies, food waste from events, and kitchen scraps from restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood. Finished compost is used on the rooftop farm to amend the soil.

Meet at Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City, which is a 4 minute walk from the 36th Street Station subway stop (R line). It will take about 45 minutes on the subway from the HI NYC Hostel to get to Brooklyn Grange.


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