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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Starting this summer, the Department of Sanitation will be reducing its organic waste collections in Howard Beach, Ozone Park and South Ozone Park from two days a week to just one.

The change affects residents in the Community Board 10 area, which is bounded by 103rd Avenue on the north; the Brooklyn/Queens border on the west; Jamaica Bay on the south; and the Van Wyck Expressway on the east.

As of Monday, July 2, the DSNY will only pickup organic waste in this area on recycling day. Regular trash collection will not change.

The DSNY instituted organic waste collection in Community Board 10, among other parts of Queens, last year. Organic waste includes food scraps, lawn cuttings, plant trimmings and other easily biodegradable items. Through the separate collections, the Sanitation Department brings the organic waste to compost heaps and other facilities so it can be reused in an environmentally friendly way.

The Sanitation Department indicated that the practice saves the city millions of dollars annually because it reduces the amount of refuse that must be hauled to landfills outside of New York City.

According to the Sanitation Department, the reduction aims to accommodate “more efficient” bulk item collections throughout the area. On trash pickup days, according to a DSNY spokesperson, the department dispatches trucks with split containers, with organic waste deposited on one side and regular trash dumped into the other.

Because of the containers’ reduced size, the spokesperson said, it’s become more difficult for the Sanitation Department to pick up bulk items — such as furniture and household appliances — left on the curb.

On the non-recycling collection day each week, the DSNY will dispatch standard collection trucks to take away bulk items.

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