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Curbside Composting Outreach

compost team planning outreach events

In partnership with the Department of Sanitation, Big Reuse’s Curbside Composting Outreach Team provided education to NYC residents alongside the rollout of the city-wide curbside composting program. Mandatory service began borough-wide in Queens in August 2022 and in Brooklyn in October 2023, with Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island set to start receiving service in October 2024 (fines for not separating out food scraps from trash will begin in Spring 2025; learn more here). The team was busy with Brooklyn outreach and making plans to support the launches of the remaining three boroughs when they lost funding in December 2023 during the mayoral budget cuts and the team was dissolved.

Our team of nine full time staff and six seasonal staff was made up of passionate and committed individuals working on the ground engaging with NYC’s communities through tabling events, high rise outreach, webinars for community groups, door-to-door home canvassing, and free compost, kitchen scrap containers, and brown bin giveaways. They collaborated with community groups from BIDs to libraries to community gardens and more and could be found attending a range of events from neighborhood block parties to street festivals to provide educational resources and ensure residents understood how to participate in the curbside composting program.

Addressing the city’s wide variety of housing situations and prior composting knowledge, the team helped troubleshoot and answer questions, provided support for talking to landlords and neighbors, and explained composting benefits. Team members spoke a total of seven different languages, allowing them to connect with more residents primarily in Spanish, Chinese, and Korean speaking neighborhoods.

(September 2021 through December 2023)

Interacted with 172,000 New Yorkers  

Canvassed 83,500 addresses and educated residents about how to participate in the curbside composting program

Distributed 22,800 1 Ib bags and 24,000 40 Ib bags of compost  

Distributed 31,000 kitchen containers and 22,400 leaf bags  


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