Composting in Jersey City – How it works and how to get started
Did you know that 40% of all food in America is wasted? By separating food for composting, participants are often more conscious of food waste and make a more concerted effort to only buy what they know they are going to use, saving money on groceries. If you’re curious about Composting in Jersey City – How it works and how to get started, you’ve come to the right place!
How does composting work?
Composting is the process of recycling organic materials, such as food scraps, wood waste and dried yard trimmings. Furthermore, it’s a controlled process that requires the right mix of greens (nitrogen rich materials aka your food scraps) and browns (carbon rich materials aka wood chips, paper products or dried leaves), oxygen and water. Finally, the result is compost, commonly referred to as black gold. It’s a dark, nutrient-rich soil amendment that smells earthy and has so many
Here’s a few of the benefits with composting:
1. Builds healthy soil
By using compost to improve the health of our soil, which grows the food that we eat, we’re restoring the quality of our food, and we’re keeping our family, our community and ourselves healthy!
2. Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
When food scraps and yard waste reach landfills, they don’t have the oxygen needed to break down properly and are forced to decompose without it. This process produces methane, a gas 20-30x more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
3. Reduces landfilled waste
According to the EPA, more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material. The benefits keep going! Compost also helps fight erosion, improves water retention in soils and helps control plant diseases and pests, eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
How to start composting in Jersey City
When it comes to Composting in Jersey City – How it works and how to get started, JC residents have several options. Check them out below and go with whatever works best for you and your family!
Join Community Compost Company
CCC is a Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise that provides residential and commercial food scrap collection in Jersey City, Hoboken and the Hudson Valley of NY. The service is designed to give people the opportunity to compost who wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
If you’d like to join this program, you can sign up directly through their website and they come to you! Furthermore, they provide you with a 5-gallon bucket to fill with all acceptable materials. They then pick up directly from your doorstep and leave a clean bucket every pickup. They give back compost twice a year for your houseplants or garden, or you can opt to have your share donated to a local organization. Their fee is $36/month for weekly pick up and $24/month for biweekly pick up. You can sign up now at communitycompostco.com or contact them at [email protected] for more information!
Community Garden, Bucket Exchange or your own backyard
Community Garden Drop Spots
JC residents are able to drop off their food waste for FREE at the following community gardens:
Mandela Lot Community Garden – 447 MLK Jr. Drive, Fridays, 7am-10am (starting May 31st)
Brunswick Community Garden – 174-176 Brunswick Street, Saturdays, 8am-1pm (Starting June 1st)
Riverview Farmers’ Market – Palisade Ave. between Bowers Street & Griffith Street, Sundays, 11am-2:30pm (May 5th – November 24th)
Join a Community Garden
Did you know there are over 20 community gardens in Jersey City? Besides, a handful of them have active composting operations. If you’d like to use this option, look around and contact your local garden to learn more about participating.
Join Sustainable Jersey City’s Bokashi Bucket Exchange Program
Bokashi is a Japanese food recycling method that uses microbes to break down food through fermentation. This program is run Sustainable JC. Participants pay a $20 deposit for the starter kit (5-gallon bucket + 1 bag of bran) and bring their full bucket to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Each bag of bran after the initial is $5 and participants typically purchase 1 bag of bran per month. If you are looking for more information, contact Tyler Randall: [email protected]
Start a Backyard Compost Pile
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or rooftop, you can compost on your own. The City launched its Backyard Composting Pilot to help support residents who want to start turning food waste into a resource right in their own home. The City is providing discounted compost bins and free educational workshops. You can sign up here.
Information provided by Andrea Rodriguez from Community Compost Co.