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Community Composting Center Opens in Jackson Heights

Project will reduce waste and produce organic fertilizer.
Opening Saturday, Oct. 13, noon to 2 p.m.

Contact: Evie McKenna

JH SCRAPS, a community composting center operated by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, officially opens for business Saturday, Oct. 13th from noon to 2 pm at 69th Street and 35th Avenue.

JH SCRAPS stands for Jackson Heights Scrap Composting to Revitalize the Area’s Poor Soils. Its aim is to collect fruit, vegetable and other non-meat food wastes that would otherwise go into the New York City waste stream, requiring shipment to distant landfills at significant economic and environmental costs.

The materials are collected on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the 78th Street Pedestrian Plaza. They will then be composted at the JH SCRAPS center and turned into nutrient-rich compost that can be mixed into soil to boost the growth of city street trees and other plants.

Along with local elected officials, also on hand will be many of the neighborhood’s master composters/managers of JH SCRAPS, who will be available to discuss composting and solid-waste reduction strategies, as well as the benefits of compost for plants.

JHSCRAPS was made possible though a generous grant from the Citizens Committee of New York City and the cooperation of the New York State Department of Transportation, which owns the site, which is under a railroad overpass.

Though compostable materials initially are being collected only at the 78th Street Pedestrian Plaza, organizers hope eventually to allow residents to drop off compostable materials at the center during those same hours, Saturdays from 10 am. to 2 p.m.

A community composting operation like JH SCRAPS was urged by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group’s Green Agenda for Jackson Heights, an environmental planning effort that drew more than 400 residents to 15 outreach meetings. Planning for the project began shortly after the Green Agenda was released in June 2010.