Hoboken to expand composting program

City expects expansion to save roughly $75,000 a year in garbage disposal fees

Hoboken’s drop-off composting program diverted 27.71 tons of food waste from landfills in 2020.
Hoboken’s drop-off composting program diverted 27.71 tons of food waste from landfills in 2020.

Hoboken will triple the size of its free composting program which the city’s Department of Environmental Services and Community Compost Company say will divert roughly 5.6 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from traditional waste disposal.

The program will increase from four compost drop-off locations to 12 later this spring.

Last year,  Hoboken’s drop-off composting program diverted 27.71 tons of food waste from landfills, and offset 1,584 gallons of gas and nearly 35,000 driven miles.

“The numbers speak for themselves – our free composting program has made a direct impact on improving our environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “This new expansion will significantly boost these efforts, and ensure almost all Hoboken residents have access to drop-off composting within a short walk of their homes. I thank Director Jen Gonzalez, David Calamoneri, the Hoboken Green Team, and Community Compost Company for helping this program expand from one location in 2018 to twelve this year.”

According to the city, which made the announcement on Earth Day, the new drop-off locations will be at Harborside Park near the shade structure in the center of the park; the Jackson Street Community Garden; Maxwell Park near the Boathouse; the Multi-Service Center near the rink on Adams Street between First and Second streets; the Southwest Resiliency Park on Harrison Street between Observer Highway and Paterson Avenue; Stevens Park on Fourth and River streets; by the Viaduct near 14th and Adams Street; and in Columbus Park near Ninth and Clinton streets

Hoboken already has four drop-off composting sites at the back patio of City Hall, Church Square Park near the restrooms,7th and Jackson Plaza near the Portland Loo restroom on Seventh Street between Monroe and Jackson streets, and at Elysian Park near the restrooms on the park’s north side.

Exceeding the Paris Agreement

The expanded program is the most recent step the city has taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change as charged by the Hoboken Climate Action Plan.

The plan, established by Bhalla in an Executive Order on Earth Day in 2019, calls for Hoboken to become carbon neutral by 2050, exceeding the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In 2018, Hoboken and Community Compost Company expanded the program to include weekly curbside pickup of food scraps for local businesses and schools, and introduced the free composting drop-off location at the Public Works Garage.

In 2020, the free residential drop-off program expanded to four sites.

Community Compost Company offers an option for residential pickup of food scraps directly from the doorstep on a weekly or biweekly basis for a fee.

The company takes food scraps to farms where they are recycled into compost, which is used as fertilizer.

Typically, garbage from Hoboken is transported to a landfill in West Virginia. Tipping fees alone cost approximately $106 per ton of waste, while the composting program brings food scraps and other organic materials to a farm in upstate New York for about $20 per ton of waste, according to the city.

With the expansion, the program is estimated to save Hoboken taxpayers up to $75,000 a year in garbage disposal fees.

For more information and a map of free drop-off sites, visit https://www.hobokennj.gov/resources/compost. 

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