NYC Compost Project – Big Reuse – New York City Department of Sanitation

Engineering Design and CQA for an Aerated Static Pile – Composting Facility under the Queensboro Bridge, New York City, NY

I was impressed with Greg’s ability to explain the process and technical drawings, and patience with a multi-agency project. [Greg McCarron, SCS Project Manager]
Leah Retherford, Project Manager, Big Reuse, Inc.

SCS was contracted by the NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse, a program funded by the New York City Department of Sanitation, to help expand a food scraps composting facility under the Queensboro Bridge. The NYC Compost Project is a community-scale composting network that works to rebuild New York City soils by providing New Yorkers with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to produce and use compost locally. The parcel of land the existing composting facility is located on is needed by the City’s Parks Department, so relocation of the facility to a nearby parcel of land was approved.


The new site is in a densely populated, urban setting, which includes compost operations and storage piles. Managing security, vector, and odors for the targeted processing capacity of 1,000 tons per-year were part of the integrated design features that would help double the output of the existing facility.

Outcomes and Benefits

SCS performed engineering design, permitting, stormwater and contact water management, and construction oversight services.  The team successfully met all of the challenges expressed by the NYC Compost Project and community through the use of a GORE® Cover System aerated static pile (ASP) composting system. The cover system utilizes forced aeration, coupled with a semi-permeable membrane cover, to achieve a fully-encapsulated composting process.

The project was completed on schedule and within budget.

The finished compost is used in community gardens, on street trees, and in public beautification projects.

Technical Design Details

The facility layout occupies a ½-acre parcel and includes the following:

  • A total of twelve covers were designed and constructed
  • Windrow areas
  • Stockpile areas for feedstock, and finished compost
  • Mobile equipment, including a skid-steer loader, mixer, screen and food scrap containers
  • Storage container
  • Working surfaces
  • Stormwater management features
  • Contact water management features.