Decentralized Urban Composting – NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse


The composting site developed and managed by the NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse is a decentralized, urban composting system that is sustainable and viable for urban settings and helps to advance the technology and equipment needed for sites of this scale.

Similar processing sites could be sited and operated across New York City and other urban environments. Decentralized community compost operations are part of the solution to recycling food scraps and diverting this material from landfills. Medium-sized community composting sites can exist in dense urban settings because they are neighborhood assets, as education centers, green spaces, and compost sources for community greening projects.

With well-designed systems and appropriately-scaled equipment, they can be managed so that no odor or pest issues are created. These sites reduce carting distances and serve as an impetus for changing local land management practices by making high quality compost abundantly available.

About the Authors:

  • Leah Retherford, Project Manager, NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse
  • Gregory P. McCarron is with SCS Engineers, Compost and Organics Management National Expert
  • Marguerite Manela, Program Manager, NYC Compost Project, New York City Department of Sanitation

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