Forest Hills Green Team brings composting site back to MacDonald Park – QNS.com
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The curbside garden food and waste collection will return to Forest Hills on Sunday, May 16, thanks to the Forest Hills Green Team (FHGT), the Queens Botanical Garden and the Friends of MacDonald Park.
The new MacDonald Park food waste disposal site, located at 87-20 Queens Boulevard, comes more than a year after Mayor Bill de Blasio slashed the Fiscal 2021 budget by $ 28 million, suspending citywide food waste collection and composting to fund emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, the mayor announced the return of curbside service to communities where it was offered before the pandemic, but Forest Hills was not one of them, according to FHGT. There was only one weekly food waste drop-off site at the MacDonald Park Green Market on Sundays, and the volunteer-run Compost Collective on Yellowstone Boulevard and Kessel Street on Saturdays.
“There are a few sites where people can drop off their trash every week, but it’s just not enough,” said Mark Laster, president of FHGT, a volunteer initiative launched in 2018 that has revitalized and helped get started. gardens at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School and Forest. Hills High School. “So we decided to partner with the Queens Botanical Gardens and Friends of MacDonald Park to provide another place and possibility for composting.”
Residents can drop off their leftover food to FHGT volunteers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the site, which is adjacent to the Greenmarket. The Queens Botanical Garden will collect containers and compost food waste at its main facility. The finished compost will be returned to the community for distribution at MacDonald Park.
Since the suspension of the service, residents have been urged to dispose of leftover food and yard waste with their trash, resulting in a huge loss of momentum for these vital programs, said Dan Miner, co-chair of FHGT, in an editorial. .
“Community sensitization will have to be redoubled before their reintroduction. We urge the mayor and city council to restore funding for composting and recycling programs as soon as possible, and to invest in community education on the many benefits of composting, ”said Miner.
According to Miner, composting is essential to save the environment.
“When food waste is not separated from regular waste, it is often burned in incinerators or buried in landfills, where it produces methane, a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming,” Miner said.
According to FHGT, methane is up to 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Municipal solid waste landfills are the third largest source of human-made methane emissions in the United States and produced approximately 15% of U.S. emissions in 2018.
“Landfills across the country are filling up and becoming more expensive for cities to use for their waste,” FHGT said in an editorial. “To achieve the city’s goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030, we will need to prioritize the composting of our organic waste.”
According to FHGT, the Queens Botanical Garden is looking for other organizations interested in hosting food waste disposal sites in their community, encouraging other local groups to join in the effort towards a sustainable future.
Members of the Forest Hills Green Team also developed a community beautification project at the LIRR overpass on Yellowstone Boulevard. FHGT has organized events and carried out advocacy activities on environmental issues and the response to climate change.
FHGT members Evan Boccardi and Sheila Shapiro will coordinate the site. To volunteer with FHGT to help with the compost project, contact [email protected]