Globally, about one-third (approximately 1.3 billion tons) of the food produced in the world for human consumption is lost or wasted every year.

This food waste accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the long-term effects of climate change.

In New York City alone, more than 1 million tons of food is thrown out by businesses and residents every year. 

At the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), we see food waste as an opportunity to nourish soils, make energy, affect climate change, and create more jobs. As part of OneNYC and DSNY’s Strategic Plan commitments to send zero waste to landfills, DSNY has built the systems and tools we need to reduce food waste.

One of those systems is the curbside collection of food and yard waste by DSNY, started in 2013. Today, we serve 3.5 million New York City residents, making ours the largest collection program in the nation. We also provide over 150 public food scrap drop-off sites, seasonal collection of fall leaves and Christmas trees, and support community composting.

Through the Make Compost, Not Trash campaign, DSNY employees, organizational partners like Big Reuse and the NYC Compost Project, and volunteers are hosting events like compost giveaways, and street tree care days. They’re even knocking on doors to encourage friends, family, and neighbors to participate in the curbside collection program.

Join the campaign and help spread the word in your community! You can find about upcoming volunteer opportunities here.