Sustainability Spotlight: Learn About Composting

By the Parent Led Sustainability Committee
Why compost? 
Landfills are designed to store trash, not break it down. Trash can naturally start to decay, but when it does, it lets off a lot of dangerous and flammable gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia and sulfur. Methane is the most potent greenhouse gas (20 times more “powerful” than CO2) and landfills are the largest source of human-related methane emissions.

Landfills are also not equitably distributed across the US territory. They are notoriously disproportionately located near disenfranchised communities, with race being the biggest predictor of an individual’s likelihood of living near hazardous waste sites. This results in under-privileged communities being exposed to toxins related to the transportation and breakdown of trash, making how and what we do with our waste a social justice issue.

In the United States, up to 40 percent of household trash is actually composed of organic waste, which is an economic, social and environmental non-sense. By composting, we not only significantly reduce the amount of trash that goes into landfills, but we also allow it to naturally turn back into nutritious soil. 
There are several ways to start your compost journey in New York City:
  1. Apply for residential compost collection through NYC’s Department of Sanitation.
  2. Bring food scraps to the nearest collection station, such as your local greenmarket.
  3. Subscribe to a compost pick up service, such as Vokashi, BKRot or GreenFeen.
  4. Make compost at home, either with the Bokashi method, worms, or a bin in your backyard.
Join our Parent Led Forum on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom to learn much more about composting, how to overcome fears and challenges and how to get started.

About the panelists:
Nando Rodriguez – Environmental Program Director at Brotherhood Sister Sol
With a focus on Black and Latinx youth, BroSis is a nonprofit where young people claim the power of their history, identity and community to build the future they want to see.
Through unconditional love, around-the-clock support and wraparound programming, BroSis makes space for Black and Latinx young people to examine their roots, define their stories and awaken their agency.

Vandra Thorburn – Founder & President of Vokashi Compost Service
Since 2009 Vokashi provides a service to help households and small businesses manage their food waste. They use the Japanese “Bokashi” method of fermenting organic waste, providing buckets and bran necessary for fermentation and swapping out buckets monthly, or weekly as needed.
Vivian Carter – Curbside Composting Outreach Associate at BigReuse.
The Curbside Composting Outreach team, in partnership with DSNY, promotes awareness of curbside composting through a variety of outreach initiatives in all five boroughs.

Have any questions or would like to join the MCS Sustainability Committee? email us at

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