Forest Hills Green Team and community partners to open new composting site

Forest Hills
The Forest Hills Green Team (Photo via Facebook)

The Forest Hills Green Team, a volunteer-led initiative that has organized events and conducted advocacy about environmental issues and climate change, is partnering with Commonpoint Queens and the Queens Botanical Garden to expand their composting program in the community. 

Beginning on Sunday, April 3, residents can drop off their food scraps to FHGT volunteers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Commonpoint Queens composting site, located at 67-09 108th St. Anyone who drops off their food scraps at the opening will get a free COVID test kit and a free bag of compost, while supplies last.

The new composting site complements the two existing sites in Forest Hills: The Compost Collective, located at Kessel and Yellowstone Boulevard, which is open on Saturdays, and the GrowNYC site, located in the farmers market on Sundays. 

“Last May, when GrowNYC had closed down the compost site in the farmers market due to the pandemic, FHGT organized a site in MacDonald Park where we were seeing 300 people a week and collecting four large containers of food scraps,” said Mark Laster, co-chair of FHGT. “When they reopened the farmers market site last December, we reached out to Queens Botanical Gardens and Commonpoint Queens to open this new site in order to allow easier access for people who live on the other side of Queens Boulevard.” 

Danielle Ellman, CEO of Commonpoint Queens, said the organization is thrilled to partner with the Queens Botanical Garden and the Forest Hills Green Team to host a compost drop-off site.

“We are proud that our facilities received ‘A’ building energy ratings and that planters in our two gardens reduce stormwater runoff while also combating urban heat island effects. Caring for our environment is a big priority for us and an initiative that our entire community can come together for, and we are excited to have our neighbors bring their food scraps to our new compost collection site,” Ellman said. 

Dan Miner, co-chair of FHGT, said they’re “extremely disappointed” with Mayor Eric Adams’ proposal to cut nearly $20 million in funding for the city’s composting program.

Operated by the Department of Sanitation, the program offers curbside pickup and composting of organic household waste. There were plans for the program to be expanded to more neighborhoods this year, but Adams proposed in his preliminary budget released in February to suspend that plan.

“If these cuts are not restored, food scrap drop-off sites will be forced to close,” Miner said.

The group is encouraging everyone to contact Councilwoman Lynn Schulman’s office to assure there are no budget cuts to the program.