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Support Zero Waste!

Getting Started?

Help reduce landfill waste and methane emissions by saving your food scraps and bringing them to a food scrap drop-off site (FSDO).

If your community group accepts food scraps and wants to be listed on the city-wide FSDO map, or if you would like to open a Public Food Scrap Drop-Off Site for Your Community, click here.   

To see a complete list of Food Scrap Drop-Offs in NYC and to find the one most convenient to you click here

There are many different methods of storing and transporting your food scraps to a food scrap drop off. Below are some tips to help you get started and figure out a method that works for you!

What’s your preferred method of food scrap saving? Share it with us on Instagram @bigreuse and @NYCzerowaste.

Reusable Containers

Pros: Readily available, versatile sizes to fit fridge or freezer, can be reused. Rigid Plastic containers can be recycled if broken.  

Cons: Inconvenient to carry empty containers after dropping off, fridge or freezer space may not accommodate larger containers.

Suggestions: 2 gallon paint bucket with lid, yogurt containers, plastic take-out containers, plastic cat litter containers.

Paper Bag

Pros: Entire bag is compostable, can drop the contents in and rip up the bag while keeping hands clean and dry. 

Cons: Can break easily, especially if the contents are wet and not frozen.  

Suggestions: Request paper bags at the grocery store checkout line.

Compostable Plastic Bags

The NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse will accept plastic bags that are BPI Certified Compostable. (If you drop-off elsewhere, check first before bringing compostable bags.)

Pros: Convenient for transportation and sturdy, will form to fit in any container or freezer.

Cons: Can be pricey

Suggestions: Use to line a plastic container. 

Plastic Bag

Pros: Disposable, readily available, can be recycled at select retailers (if taken home and rinsed), will form to fit in any freezer.

Cons: Not recyclable when dirty. Contributes to plastic in landfills.

Suggestions: 1 and 2 gallon Ziploc bags and durable grocery bags can be reused many times.


Storing food scraps in the freezer or fridge will help keep odors and pests away.

Use newspaper to help absorb excess moisture in the container 

If storing outside the freezer, use a plastic container with a lid to prevent pests from chewing through plastic 

When dropping off, empty the contents of the paper or compostable plastic bag into the Food Scrap Drop-Off bin first, and then rip up the bag and throw in the pieces 

Know the difference between Food Waste and Food Scraps - composting shouldn’t be an excuse to waste food! Compost should be used to recycle the parts of food we can’t eat, it’s important to try and prevent edible food from going to waste. 

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