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New York Receives Donation to Fund Composting Program

The city council of New York says it has received an anonymous donation earmarked to maintain the GrowNYC food waste compost collection program through the end of fiscal year 2024, or June 30, 2024.

The city’s government says the donation will allow GrowNYC to avoid laying off 65 employees. “The program and employees were at risk as a result of budget cuts in the mayor’s November Financial Plan,” writes city council in a statement announcing the donation.

As part of that announcement, city council speaker Adrienne Adams and fellow council members Sandy Nurse and Justin Brannan issued a joint statement.

“We are relieved that 65 green workers will not lose their jobs during this holiday season and can continue this critical work in our communities,” say the three council members. “The quick mobilization of funds from the private sector is a testament to how much New Yorkers value community composting.”

Continues the trio, “However, philanthropic support should supplement, not supplant funding from the city. While this generous support is welcome, this administration must work with the council and all stakeholders toward long-term, sustainable funding for our localized composting programs and other essential services.”

The funding covers GrowNYC’s activities, but not those of all community composters within the city, say Adams, Nurse and Brannan.

“Other key organizations whose funding must be maintained include the Lower East Side Ecology Center, Big Reuse, Earth Matter NY, and the botanical gardens, which have over 50 employees that will be laid off by January if their funding is not restored,” they say.

“Community organizations across New York City compost 8.3 million pounds of food waste annually and distribute over 1.7 million pounds of locally made compost to parks, gardens and residents,” say the council members. “They also provide our strongest public outreach and education efforts for the millions of New Yorkers who participate in the city’s curbside organics collection program created by the council’s new law.”

Conclude Adams, Nurse and Brannan, “The work of these organizations is even more critical now that the mayor cut an additional $6.55 million from the Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) outreach and communications contracts over the next two fiscal years. These cuts are counterproductive, given that DSNY is mandated to start curbside organics collections in Staten Island, the Bronx and Manhattan by the end of 2024. Without community composters, the city will not have successful participation rates in the program, which we need to reach our zero waste and sustainability goals as a city.”

Source: Wastetodaymagazine