Drop-off composting bins have arrived

Composting will soon be required in the city (by 2025) so the Department of Sanitation has started rolling out curbside “Smart Composting Bins” similar to what the Downtown Alliance put into place in Fidi in 2021.

You have to get the “NYC Compost” app to find and use them — the locations here, on the DOS’ drop-off composting site list, has yet to include these bins, but will be updated soon. And you will need the app to unlock the door. Here’s the list:
> Chambers and Greenwich, northwest corner
> Chambers and West, northwest corner
> Harrison and Greenwich, southwest corner
> Franklin and Varick, southeast corner
> Broadway and Park Place, on the east side of Broadway

I used one on Saturday, and the app worked great. As soon as you open it, it shows the closest bin and then you just hit unlock. The opening, however is shallow in height, like a mailbox, so if you are bringing a kitchen compost bin to unload, I suggest bringing a spoon maybe? Not sure yet what the best method is.

What to compost in the orange Smart Composting Bins:
ALL food scraps, plant waste, and food-soiled paper. This includes meat, bones, dairy, prepared foods, and greasy uncoated paper plates and pizza boxes.

What to compost at the Greenmarket:
Most food scraps, including fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags, nuts, bread, rice, and pasta. Plant waste, including leaf and yard waste and houseplants. No meat, bones, or dairy. No paper.

What not to compost at either site:
No trash such as diapers, personal hygiene products, animal waste, wrappers, non-paper packaging, and foam products.



  1. The way I’m reading the Dept of Sanitation’s site is that we will not need an app to access…

    • That’s how I read it as well- only some in “certain” neighborhood require the app- not sure the rational behind that. These bins apparently will accept meat, bones, or dairy, so likely the contents will be burned as bio fuel, whereas the places that do not take those items, like the green market, are actually composted by the city.

  2. if they are going to do this, they need to figure out what to do with all the compost. even under the current system most of it just gets burned off as methane/biogas.

  3. Yes, the DoS site shows green markers where no app is required and orange ones where the app is required. I think this is a positive move by the city but I am sure there will be those who find fault with it.