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Food Scrap Drop-Offs

What you can compost depends on the scale at which you are processing the food scraps. Here at The NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse we operate community scale composting sites so we are limited in what we can accept.

Food scraps Accepted:

Fruit and vegetable scraps

Coffee grounds, filters, and paper tea bags

Bread and grains

Egg and nut shells

Food-soiled paper towels and napkins

Shredded newspaper

Sawdust and wood shavings from untreated wood

Stale beans, flour, and spices

Cut or dried flowers



BPI-Certified compostable plastics

food scraps not accepted:

Meat or fish scraps

Cheese or dairy products

Fats, grease, oil, or oily foods

Cat or dog feces

Kitty litter

Colored or glossy paper

Sawdust made from pressure-treated plywood or lumber

Coal or charcoal ashes

Non-compostable materials like plastic, metals, or glass

Diseased or insect-infested houseplants 

Soil (dump it into a tree pit instead)


Biodegradable plastics


DSNY Curbside Composting Program - ALL food scraps (including meat, cheese, and bones), No trash or recyclable materials. 

NYC Smart Composting Pilot Program - Accepts ALL food scraps in Astoria and the Lower East Side

Home Compost system - Depends on the method of composting 

Big Reuse Collected Partner Sites

Food scrap drop-off sites are popping up all over the city!  See DSNY Food Scrap Drop Off Map for options in your neighborhood, if you don't see a Big Reuse option below. Funding approved by the City Council supports the drop-offs along with efforts of dedicated volunteers and organizations.

Big Reuse has partnered with many inspiring community groups that sprang up when the City canceled curbside composting collection. Big Reuse hauls the collected food scraps back to our two community composting sites in Gowanus and Long Island City where we process them with Parks leaves and wood chips. We then give the compost away to community gardens and Parks!

We work with partners to collect foods at 70+ Food Scrap Drop Offs that we process at our two community compost sites. Below is a list of the sites we collect from. You can find national food scrap drop offs at

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