Department of Sanitation Installs 20 “Smart” Composting Bins Across UES

Prior to the mandatory composting law coming into effect in October of next year, District 5 Councilmember Julie Menin has partnered with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to install nearly two dozen app-run composting bins, which will be accessible to the public on a 24/7 basis. A local Girls Scout troop played a role in advocating for the bins.

| 28 Jun 2023 | 06:33

Composting is all the rage in New York City, and by October of next year it will be mandatory thanks to the recent passage of the Zero Waste Act. Naturally, locals are preparing for this watershed change in disposal practices by instilling good habits well in advance.

The Upper East Side is a prime example of this proactive mindset, considering that District 5 Councilmember Julie Menin announced an installation of twenty “smart composting” bins across a wide swath of the neighborhood last week. The initiative is a partnership with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), and gained grassroots momentum after Girl Scouts Troop 3138–an affiliate of P.S. 183, or the Robert Stevenson School–and The Town School on E. 76th St. advocated heavily for the bins.

Menin had originally broached the topic of creating adequate composting receptacles for her district at a DSNY Preliminary Budget Hearing. She later followed up with DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch to hone in on the “smart” composting idea. The bins will open by connecting to the NYC Compost phone app, with an unlock button that will function at all hours.

With the addition of the bins, New York City will now have 150 composting bins total installed below 96th St. According to data collected by the Department of Sanitation, more than a third of the city’s residential waste comes in the form of organic material, an immense quantity that the composting craze hopes to tackle head-on. Composted scraps are diverted from landfills, where they emit the greenhouse gas methane--not to mention attracting all variety of rodents.

In a statement celebrating the fruit of her efforts, Menin proclaimed that “today marks a significant milestone in our commitment to a greener future. With the installation of 16 ‘Smart’ composting bins across the district, we are empowering our community to take a proactive role in sustainability.” She also gave a shout-out to the Department of Sanitation.

DSNY Commissioner Tisch returned the favor, quipping that “New Yorkers want to do the right thing–they want to get the rat food out of the black bags and out of the landfills–you just have to make it easy. That’s the idea behind these Smart Composting Bins, which have been a tremendous hit across the City. I’m proud to be installing them in Council District 5, and I know they’ll lead to cleaner streets.”

3138 Troop Leaders Mindy Guss and Jana Beauchamp also exulted in their organizing prowess, saying that “The Girl Scouts of Troop 3138 are honored and humbled to play a part in the environmental progress and sustainability efforts in their neighborhood. We are thrilled to learn about these important developments that will have a positive impact in the community starting now and going forward.” They made sure to mention being grateful that their advocacy had reached, and influenced, Councilmember Menin.

A list of where the new “smart” bins can be found is as follows:

BIN 265 - SW CO 2nd Ave. and 86th St., BIN 266 - NW CO 2nd Ave. and 82nd St., BIN 267- NE CO 1st Ave. and 91st St., BIN 268 - SE CO 2nd Ave. and 72nd St., BIN 269 - NE CO E 66th St. and 1st Ave., BIN 270 - SW CO 83rd St. and East End, BIN 271 - NW CO 1st Ave. and 88th St., BIN 272 - NW CO 2nd Ave. and 95th St., BIN 273 - NW CO 3rd Ave. and E 95th St., BIN 274 - SE CO E 92nd St. and 2 Ave., BIN 275 - NE CO 1st Ave. and E 76th St., BIN 276 - SE CO 79th St. and York Ave., BIN 277 - SW CO 3rd Ave. and East 88th St., BIN 278 - SW CO West Road and Main St., BIN 279 - SW CO Main St. and River Rd., BIN 286 - NE CO 2 Ave. and 76th St.