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JH SCRAPS: a community composting project

Julian McNamara and Lenny Olson, two of JHBG SCRAPS and Master Composters at work on compost collection at the JH Scraps site.

The long-awaited local composting operation for Jackson Heights has arrived. The new JH SCRAPS (Jackson Heights Scrap Collection to Restore our Area’s Poor Soils) has been successfully operating since early fall.

Sponsored by JHBG, the compost collection program has two sites: at 69th Street and 35th Ave (across from the dog run), where the collected material is composted, and at Travers Park on the 78th Street Pedestrian Plaza. Both locations are open for compost collection every Saturday from 10-2, rain or shine.

The operation is the idea of a local group of Master Composters trained at the Queens Botanical Garden, who wanted Jackson Heights base for composting and other environmental concerns. A key word here is LOCAL. We intend to collect and return to Jackson Height’s green spaces the rich soil that our food scraps can provide once they are composted.

We also plan to provide information and education on environmental issues specific to our Jackson Heights concerns. An upcoming workshop with NYC Parks‘ Green Teens group will inaugurate our local educational plans as the first workshop on site.

Composters – and compost-curious – are welcome to visit us at JH SCRAPS during hours of operation. Bring your food scraps, collect information about the process, ask questions and support this new JHBG project. If Travers Park/Pedestrian Plaza works best for you, please use the mid-neighborhood convenience of that collection site. It’s all staying local and going to the same place of compost processing.

JH SCRAPS is funded under the Jackson Heights Beautification Group leadership in partnership with the New York State Department of Transportation, which owns the site and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection which has a pump station on the property.

JH SCRAPS received a community-based grant from the Citizens Committee for NYC that provided support on top of JHBG’s initial funding and continued fiscal sponsorship. Thanks JHBG & the DOT & the DEP for helping to put all of this together.

Teachers – stay tuned for more educational opportunities for your classes through JHBG Scraps.

Contact us at Save your pumpkins for compost!

What is compost?
Wikipedia: “Compost ( /ˈkɒmpɒst/ or /ˈkɒmpoʊst/) is organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. At the simplest level, the process of composting simply requires making a heap of wetted organic matter (leaves, “green” food waste) and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of weeks or months. Modern, methodical composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process with measured inputs of water, air and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials. The decomposition process is aided by shredding plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration by regularly turning the mixture.”