NYC Parks + DSNY Announce Big Reuse Composting Operation!




Courtesy NYC Parks

NYC Parks and NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announced a path forward for Big Reuse composting operations. The $11M park renovation project will be abutting Queensbridge NYCHA housing. A community input meeting on this project will take place in January, 2021.

As a show of support of composting, and commitment to zero waste and climate goals, NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Sanitation today announced a path forward to help environmental non-profit Big Reuse: The City is committed to finding the composting operation a new home on a non-Parks site, and Parks has extended their use of Queensbridge Park until June 2021 to allow the group to continue their work whileDSNY works with Big Reuse to secures a suitable space. Big Reuse has operated in Queensbridge Park since May 2018 under a temporary use agreement with NYC Parks that was set to expire at the end of 2020.

Additionally, NYC Parks announced it will move forward with its long planned $11M capital project in Queensbridge Baby Park that will provide much-needed recreational space to residents of the Queensbridge Houses NYCHA facility, the largest public housing complex in North America. This project, which is funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio and will kick off in January 2021 with a community input meeting. The project is dependent upon Big Reuse vacating the site that their composting operations currently occupy.

“As the caretaker of our City’s 30,000 acres of parks — of which 10,000 are natural areas – composting has long been a regular part of our sustainable management practices,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “In an effort to help Big Reuse continue their composting operations without interruption while they relocate, Parks will grant a 6-month extension of their use of Queensbridge Park.”

Edward Grayson, Acting Commissioner, New York City Department of Sanitation, said: “Composting is a critical part of achieving our zero waste goals, and it helps build healthier communities. Despite our budget cuts, DSNY remains deeply committed to its expansion and the environmental justice it brings. Communities also need and deserve quality public space. I want to thank Parks for their partnership as we work to find a solution that balances all of the Queensbridge community’s needs.”

The renovation of Queensbridge Baby Park is funded with $11M from Mayor de Blasio through the Long Island City Investment Strategy. Parks was poised to start design of the park in Spring 2020, but design start was delayed due to the pandemic. The community scoping meeting, to be held next month, will officially kick off the design phase of the project. The future park amenities will extend along Vernon Blvd. in space currently used for Parks operations–which will move under the bridge currently occupied by Big Reuse.

The extension provided to Big Reuse is similar to the extensions we have provided to the Lower East Side Ecology Center in advance of the start of ESCR construction.

Earlier this year, New York City’s executive budget restored $2.88 million to community composting for FY21. The NYC Department of Sanitation has used this funding to support 99 Food Scrap Drop Off sites, and well as community composting operations.

NYC Parks has a long history of composting as a method of sustainable parks management. Parks supports “closed-loop” composting on parkland at approximately 30 sites across the five boroughs, and hosts volunteer-led composting at roughly 200 GreenThumb gardens.

Follow NYC Parks on their website. Take a look at NYC Parks Greenthumb + partners overhauling of fifteen community gardens.

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