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Photo: Green City Challenge
Photo: Green City Challenge

The Sanitation Department (DSNY) is expanding its organic food recycling program into additional Queens neighborhoods later this year, it was announced on Monday.

Already in place as a pilot program in parts of Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village, organics recycling will be introduced into Ridgewood the week of Oct. 31 and into the confines of Community Board 11 (parts of Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Hollis Hills and Oakland Gardens) the week of Dec. 5.

Through this initiative, the Sanitation Department has residents of single-family homes and buildings with nine or fewer residential units separate compostable food waste (such as fruit, vegetables, egg shells, pasta, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, baked goods, meats and bones), food-soiled paper products and yard debris for collection. The DSNY provides each residence in the area with a starter kit including an indoor kitchen container, an outdoor bin and an instructional brochure.

Residents can place food waste into the indoor container, then dump it in the outdoor bin for weekly collection. The organic waste is then brought to local compost heaps to help grow plants.

Organic recycling is not only eco-friendly, but also better for the city’s bottom line. Nearly a third of the city’s waste stream is made up of organic waste, according to a 2015 Sanitation Department report, and the city stands to save tens of millions of dollars by reusing organic waste rather than exporting it to landfills.

“When you’re recycling your food and yard waste, you decrease the amount of garbage going to landfills and help create a greener and healthier New York City,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

Click here for more information about the program.

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