North Brooklyn Compost Project

Final week to enter! MINDS IN THE GUTTER by katezidar
February 8, 2010, 6:29 pm
Filed under: fun, learnin', press

Calling all designers! Keep spreading the word about the Minds in the Gutter call for submissions, a project inspired by our own experience trying to use our compost to redesign a sidewalk near McCarren Park for stormwater management! You have one more week to get your ideas in the running. Read all about it:

MIG logo

Every time it rains in New York City, our combined sewer system gobbles up stormwater running off all hard surfaces – roadways, sidewalks, rooftops and parking lots – into the same network of pipes that carry our sewage. This system quickly reaches capacity, and the stormwater and sewage overflow into local waterways on the order of 27 billion gallons per year.  This limits how New Yorkers can safely access the waterfront, and impairs our estuary ecosystem. It’s also a waste! Almost 30% of NYC’s surface is made of streets and sidewalks
that contribute to this problem.

DESIGN QUESTION: How do we utilize the existing 6K miles of roadway and accompanying 12K miles of sidewalk as an opportunity for stormwater management? The majority of roads are crowned, water flows some distance along a gutter adjacent to sidewalks and existing vegetation and escapes into a storm drain. What can we do with what we’ve got? Where is your intervention?


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I missed the contest, but ran across your website recently through a contact during my Master Composter class. My comment: THIS IS SUPER EXCITING!!!—>Curb cuts that divert the rainwater flow into variously placed rain gardens.
Or, permeable concrete systems can be employed, although the cost of this system may be prohibitive.
And lastly, a trench can be used, filling it with a coarse aggregate, minimum 6″ depth, preferably it can reach up to 18″ deep
and topping it with the compost and mulch.
Please let me know what people have come up with and if you’re getting a crew together to tackle this.

Comment by Albert Brucker

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