Public Composting Bins Arrive In Bed-Stuy, Leaving Rats Hungry

BED-STUY, BROOKLYN — Put your Big Apple in the Big Belly!

The first Smart Composting Bins in Brooklyn are in Bed-Stuy, according to residents who were pleasantly surprised to discover the public bins early Wednesday morning.

“amazing!” said one social media user, with another expressing their surprise at how many there were.

“OMG yeah!” another wrote, “I’ve been waiting for something like this.”

A DSNY spokesperson confirmed the installation.

“As promised in August, we are in the process of installing Smart Composting Bins citywide,” the official said.

25 public Smart Composting Bins are now available to Bed-Stuy residents, located on Bedford, Tompkins, Lewis, Patchen and Howard Avenues, as well as Malcolm X Boulevard.

The bins look like traditional “Big Belly” solar trash compactors, but are clad in a distinct DSNY orange and require the use of a free app to open.

A list of what items can be composted, typically all organic food and plant waste, can be found on the side of the bin as well as on the NYC Compost app.

A screenshot from the NYC Compost app showing the 25 Bed-Stuy bin locations. (Peter Senzamici)

Mayor Eric Adams and Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch have long held that, in addition to being a win for the environment, composting would play a central role in the city’s “war on rats,” a strategy that most experts agree would significantly impact rodent populations.

By removing food scraps from the main waste stream, composting greatly reduces the amount of food available for rodents to munch on.

Back in August, Adams and Tisch announced a plan to roll out the Smart Composting Bins throughout the five boroughs, stating that they had already installed 250 bins across the city since the start of 2022 — higher than the previous goal of 100 bins — and announced the installation of 250 more.

“Mayor Adams tasked us with developing a new program that would be effective, affordable, and equitable,” said Tisch back in August. “We looked at what had worked in the past, as well as what hadn’t, and developed a smart, innovative solution that is going to be easier for the people of New York City, harder for rats, and better for the planet. “

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