You are reading

Sanitation Department Installs More Than a Dozen “Smart Bins” for Food Scraps in Astoria

The smart bins are an upgrade from typical food scraps drop off bins, like the one pictured here (DSNY)

Dec. 13, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The New York City Sanitation Department has installed more than a dozen specialty “smart bins” for food scraps throughout Astoria.

The department placed 16 bins — which only open with a specific key card — around the neighborhood last week in order to redirect compostable waste from landfills.

The smart bins are a part of a residential pilot program to test out 24/7 drop-off for compostable materials and food scraps. A similar pilot launched in lower Manhattan last week as well.

The bins are locked and can only be opened with a key card by residents who sign up for the pilot.

Up to a third of the 12,000 tons of trash and recycling that sanitation workers collect in the city each day can be composted, according to DSNY. When organic materials are sent to a landfill, they emit methane and contribute to climate change as opposed to becoming nutrient-rich soil when properly composted.

The pilot is part of DSNY’s effort to increase composting in New York City. The department also offers community-based drop-off sites for food scraps — which are not open 24/7 — and brown bin curbside composting at residential buildings.

“DSNY is committed to getting compostable material out of landfills,” DSNY Commissioner Edward Grayson said. “We are excited to see how these new bins perform, and urge everyone who lives or works near one to give them a try.”

Compostable items that can be placed in the smart bins include all food waste — including meat, bones, dairy items, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags and soiled or expired food — as well as food-soiled paper products and dead houseplants and flowers.

The DSNY will empty the smart bins and transport the organic waste to local and regional composting facilities, where it is turned into compost on a large scale. The finished compost is then used in New York City parks and gardens. Some of the organic waste will be converted into renewable energy.

Non-compostable items such as any regular trash (including animal waste and diapers) and recyclable items should never be put in the smart bins.

Residents can sign up by filling out their information on smartcompost.nyc. Once they have filled out a form, a free key card will be mailed to the address they provide within one to two weeks.

The smart bins are mostly located along 31st Avenue and surrounding blocks. The map below shows their exact locations.

email the author: [email protected]

4 Comments

Click for Comments 
james lewis

I am very heartened the recycling program has returned. Even though technology has advanced,and we are recycling remotely. Why just 16 bins in Astoria? I live in far Rockaway!

Reply
Ed Collins

Contrary to your web page there is NO COMPOSE BIN in front of LIC High School. I walked the block but there was none to be found. This I did in today’s, January 26th’s weather.

Reply
OAR

I hope this program expands to Hunters Point/Court Square. My small building won’t participate in the curbside pick up and I would like to be able to participate in the compost program. A perfect spot would be Murray Playground. I had a compost for a short time in the garden there, but it was impossible to keep up with what people would bring and leave for me.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.