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Compost vs Extreme Weather! - Big Reuse

Compost vs Extreme Weather!

Storm Water Absorption Before Compost

Storm Water Absorption After Compost

When compost is applied to soil, it is very effective at absorbing water, providing a more permeable surface to facilitate stormwater infiltration, and preventing channels of heavy water flow. This means it’s a great tool for mitigating the effects of climate change, in this case: extreme weather conditions and flooding. 

We recently got a compost update from Liz, one of our community members who used our compost at their building in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

During Hurricane Ida in September 2021, the lobby and first floor storage room of the Brooklyn co-op building flooded. The building's entrance slopes downward and there is a drain in front of the door. During Ida, the drain couldn't keep up and the compacted soil from the front garden was not absorbing the rain. Rainfall spilled over the top of the concrete barrier and contributed to the flooding inside the building. 

When the co-op board was discussing ways to prevent this in the future, one of their ideas was to pave the garden areas so the rainfall would run off and away from the building. Liz proposed adding compost soil instead. According to Liz, the superintendent did not think this would work, but he was willing to try it given the compost was free! The Big Reuse team dropped it off, and Liz and the landscapers spread it out. 

After the next rainstorm, the superintendent said he was amazed that the compost soil effectively absorbed the rain fall, and the co-op board wanted the same treatment done for their other complex building! 

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