NYC Jewish institutions: Take the lead on eliminating food waste! 

Food waste is a major problem. Minimizing waste diverted to landfills is crucial for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as the world battles the effects of global warming. See this resource by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for more info about its magnitude and urgency. The future seems grim, but each of us can be that little drop in the bucket that will eventually be a critical mass. Every vote matters, every voice elevates the communal song, every action counts. And remember, first we reduce, then we reuse, and only THEN – we recycle/compost!  

Get inspired: Watch composting up close at B’nai Jeshurun and Hannah Senesh Community Day School, two Hazon Seal of Sustainability participants.

To start collecting organic waste for composting:  (*Already composting? – scroll down and see how you can make a bigger difference!)

  1. Submit an online inquiry here. After submitting an eligible inquiry, you will be contacted by a DSNY representative, to schedule a site visit at your location. Eligible inquiries may come from full-time staff members, board members, other parties appointed by an abovementioned qualified representative, or other appropriate parties on a case-by-case basis. 
  1. Schedule a site visit with a DSNY representative. After receiving your organization’s application, we will be in touch shortly to schedule a visit. During the visit, we will deliver an application to complete called a “Service Agreement.” This will be your official application to receive organics collection service. 
  1. Submit your Service Agreement for DSNY approval. DSNY will review your agreement and conditionally issue your approval via e-mail. 
  1. Bins and outreach materials will be delivered in advance of service. Before bin delivery, you will receive a welcome email alerting you of your set-out dates/times, bin delivery window, and first date of service. 
  1. Service will commence! Staff will be responsible for placing containers at the curb on designated collection days and times.

Please email NYCOrganics@dsny.nyc.gov with any further questions or concerns about receiving DSNY’s organics collection service.

Already composting? Well done! now broaden your impact:

Encourage your neighbors to join in by opening up your bins, quite literally, for community collection. DSNY will provide tools to get you started and to maintain your drop-off site! See info here.

Learn About Composting

The process of composting is an accessible way to get connected to sustainability efforts. Here are a few angles with which to introduce the concept to children. These curricula were prepared as part of the JOFEE Fellowship.

For children: 

  • “Bal Taschit/Compost” is a curriculum designed by Jaclyn Kellner for children aged 10-12. This program is an introduction to the farm and the closed-systems way of thinking using compost as a lens to think about resource use. Participants will explore the thought behind these systems with the help of the Jewish concept Bal Taschit. Click here to access this resource.
  • “Worms: Decomposition Heroes” is a curriculum designed by Sarah Rovin for elementary school children. This program is an introduction to earthworms and their necessary place in decomposition and soil health as well as looking deeper into cycles that renew the earth and where we see this in Jewish text. Click here to access this resource.
  • “Learn About Composting” is a sequence of four 30 minute classes designed by Josh Kleymeyer for children aged 3-5. This curriculum serves as an introduction to the process of composting as well as what can and can’t be composted. Click here to access this resource.

For teenagers to adults:

  • “Righteous Rotting” is a curriculum designed by Hannah Slipakoff for all ages. It is an in-depth exploration of composting- from basic biology to implementing systems on a home-scale. Participants will be guided through the Jewish spiritual significance of composting and principles of sustainability while having the opportunity to apply their learning by problem-solving in a “compost clinic” and constructing a functional compost bin. Click here to access this resource.

These resources and many more in our rich online library are available to Hazon Seal of Sustainability sites. Learn more and reach out if you are interested in joining the program here.