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Staten Island 2008 Spring Yard Waste Composting Pilot

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why a separate collection for spring yard waste?
when was spring yard waste collected for composting?
why isn't yard waste collected for composting all the time?
why yard waste could not be set out in plastic bags during the pilot?
why doesn't NYC provide free paper lawn and leaf bags?
where can paper lawn and leaf bags be purchased?
what about tree prunnings?
how was the 2008 spring yard waste pilot promoted?
what were the results of the spring yard waste composting pilot? grass in paper bag


Why a Separate Collection for Spring Yard Waste on Staten Island?

The NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) needs to recycle more organic waste in order to meet the city's goals for reducing NYC's waste. Compared to other waste, yard waste is easy for residents to keep separate and it's easy for DSNY to compost at the Fresh Kills Composting Site.

As mandated in NYC's Solid Waste Management Plan, leaving NYCWasteLess DSNY first collected spring yard waste on Staten Island in 2007 as part of a pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of collecting spring yard waste for composting. In 2008 DSNY continued the pilot program for a second year.

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When Was Spring Yard Waste Collected for Composting on Staten Island?

In 2008, DSNY collected yard waste during the fourth week in May and and the first week June on regular recycling collection days after 4pm (a later shift than regular recycling collection). All yard waste had to be set out in either paper lawn & leaf bags or unlined rigid containers for composting collection.

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Why Isn't Yard Waste Collected for Composting All the Time?

It saves taxpayer dollars to efficiently collect, in as few trips as possible, the bulk of leaf and yard waste produced. That's why DSNY does separate composting collections in the fall (for leaves from districts with a lot of trees) and spring (for Staten Island yard waste during the pilot).

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Why Yard Waste Could Not Be Set Out in Plastic Bags During the Spring Yard Waste Composting Pilot?

During DSNY composting collection periods, residents are required to set out leaf and yard waste in either unlined rigid containers or paper lawn and leaf bags. Unlike plastic, paper bags decompose along with yard waste; yielding higher quality compost with no plastic shreds.

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Why Doesn't NYC Provide Free Paper Lawn and Leaf Bags?

NYC doesn't supply bins or bags for recycling, composting, or trash.

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Where Can Paper Lawn and Leaf Bags be Purchased?

paper leaf bag imageThe NYC Department of Sanitation does not provide bags or bins for recycling, composting, or garbage.

Paper lawn and leaf bags can be purchased at various retailers. Below is a list of retailers on Staten Island that sell paper lawn and leaf bags as of 2008. For online retailers, search for "paper lawn and leaf bags."

Please note: Our mention of these retailers does not constitute an endorsement of their services. If you find any outdated information, or would like to suggest additional listings, please contact us.

SI RETAILER NAMESTREET ADDRESSZIPPHONE
Community Hardware453 Port Richmond Ave.10302718-442-6299
Doody Home Center1677 Victory Blvd.10314718-872-0099
Home Depot2501 Forest Ave.10303

718-273-5069

Home Depot545 Targee St.10304718-818-9334
Home Depot2750 W Veterans Rd.10309718-984-4690
Kmart2660 Hylan Blvd.10306718-351-8500
No. Shore Hardware647 Forest Ave.10302718-981-1013
Pathmark1351 Forest Ave.10302718-981-1900
Pathmark3501 Amboy Rd.10306718-967-6788
Pathmark2730 Arthur Kill Rd.10309718-984-7961
Pathmark2875 Richmond Ave.10314718-761-8400
Reiman's True Value1825 Victory Blvd.10314718-442-1200
ShopRite2424 Hylan Blvd.10306718-979-3303
ShopRite985 Richmond Ave.10314718-982-8662
Star Supply3000 Richmond Terrace10302718-448-7772
Stop & Shop2754 Hylan Blvd.10306718-980-0892
Stop & Shop2795 Richmond Ave.10314718-761-4856
T&J Hardware3120 Arthur Kill Rd.10309718-356-1000
Village True Value262 Arden Avenue #F10312718-966-9217
Waldbaum's6400 Amboy Rd.10309718-966-8336

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What About Tree Prunnings?

In sections of northwestern Staten Island that are under Federal and State quarantine leaving NYCWasteLess for the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle, you must contact Parks Department leaving NYCWasteLess to collect and chip your tree prunings and firewood.

If your area is not affected by this program, bundle tree prunings (no more than 2 feet high and 4 feet long) and place with yard waste for composting collection.

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How Was the 2008 Spring Yard Waste Composting Pilot Promoted?

DSNY's efforts to inform Staten Island residents of the Spring 2008 Yard Waste Composting Pilot include the following:

  • mailing to Staten Island residents and community organizations
  • print ads in local publications
  • info tables at various venues, including appearances of the Department's leaf bag costume, to generate public interest in the program and answer questions
  • flyers and posters in local stores that sell paper lawn and leaf bags
  • ads in Department of Motor Vehicle office on Staten Island
  • presentations at community meetings
  • door hangers placed on 1-4 family homes

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What Were the Results of the Spring Yard Waste Composting Pilot?

As mandated in NYC's Solid Waste Management Plan, leaving NYCWasteLess DSNY first collected spring yard waste on Staten Island in 2007 as part of a pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of collecting spring yard waste for composting.

Over the course of the 2007 pilot, DSNY collected for composting a total of 380 tons (out of a potential 3,000 tons estimated to be present in the waste stream). Because trucks drove long routes but still returned to the garage less than full, costs per ton averaged four times higher than regular recycling collection. For more detailed results, see the 2007 Spring Yard Waste Composting Pilot Summary.

Nevertheless, the 2007 Staten Island Spring Yard Waste Composting Pilot was a good first time effort. Due to its suburban profile, Staten Island traditionally generates the most yard waste of any borough. For this reason, and also because composting site capacity is heavily constrained outside of Staten Island, Sanitation decided not to conduct spring yard waste collections in the other boroughs in 2008.

The goal of the 2008 pilot was to determine whether participation rates would improve as the program (and the requirement to use paper lawn and leaf bags) became more routine for Staten Islanders. From this standpoint, the 2008 spring yard waste pilot was a success since a total of 765 tons were collected for composting, an increase of over 100% from 2007.

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