Composting by Bike in NYC May Put the Pedal to the Nettles

One NYC group envisions a reduction in how much waste goes to landfill as the soil of area farms improves. And they plan to get there on bicycle. Photo: Flickr/jenny downing

Nearly one-third of the material that New York City currently sends to landfill is nutrient-rich organic matter.

If only for an effective system of collection and distribution, this portion of could be much better used to replenish the soil of area farms as compost. For one group of folks in The Big Apple, the way to improve the city’s recycling may be by bicycling their way there.

The project, which came to our attention through reporting by Inhabitat, is the vision of New York Compost Company and it still in proposal and planning stages.

Using the platform to raise awareness, interest and the reasonably modest $6,000 sum to get their fleet of recycling bikes up and running, the project envisions using modified cargo bicycles to gather food scrap waste from city restaurants, containerizing the organic waste, and delivering it to regional farmers when they’re in the city for farmers markets and CSA deliveries.

Benefits would be multiple, but reducing stresses on already overtaxed landfills and saving the farmer money on fertilizer and soil amendment stand tall among them.

As they have restaurants, farmers, and even would-be compost bikers all waiting for a green light, New York Compost hopes to have their pilot project up and running next month, provided that they’re able to meet their fundraising goal to allow for the purchase of the bikes to make it all happen.

Check out their proposal at Kickstarter, which they have named Connecting the City to the Soil. And show them some love if you think that a pedal-powered process of keeping green waste out of the dumps and putting it back into the soil sounds like a pretty darn good idea.

Story by David Bois, originally published on July 23, 2010 on Tonic

Related articles
Seattle Bans Single-use Restaurant Packaging From Landfills
A Garden in the City: Home Grow Micro Farms
Making Organics Recycling Profitable

Recent Posts
Latest posts by Amanda Wills (see all)


  1. Cool program. I feel like I’ve been hearing about a lot of grassroots composting programs recently. There’s Compost Cab in DC, Waste Farmers in Denver… maybe even a few others. Really great to see entrepreneurs tacking the initiative on this stuff.

Leave a Comment