North Brooklyn Compost Project

Happy New Year, Composters!!! by katezidar
January 6, 2011, 6:10 pm
Filed under: fun, housekeeping, learnin', membership, policy, press, stewardship

Happy New Year Composters!

Thanks to all of you, The North Brooklyn Compost Project had one of the best years to date!

We composted kitchens scraps from over 400 Greenpoint and Williamsburg households between May and November 2010 — that six months of operations, 55,000 pounds of scraps and a 1,000 volunteer hours contributed by your lovely selves! 

In addition to business as usual, we held composting workshops for our neighbors and shared finished compost with the wonderful gardens at the Greenpoint Reformed Soup Kitchen, the Greenpoint Shul and the Automotive High School.  We also gave back to McCarren Park by feeding trees and lawn with our black gold and kicking off a  leaf collection project in our beloved meadow.

Thanks to you, we raised almost $1,500 through Ioby to repair our back fence, purchase tools and install a new shed!   If you haven’t walked past the site recently please do and marvel at our beautiful red shed that will keep all of our supplies nice and dry in the coming years. Also here is a little  video of the installation.

We were also acknowledged by ioby as one of the 2010 Heroes in Our Backyards and mentioned in the New York Magazine and the WG News + Arts.

We are now brainstorming about projects and education programs to make NBCP even better and to help spread the word about composting to our neighbors. If you are interested in getting more involved this spring or just have a brilliant idea to share please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are always in need of builders, graphic designers, writers, educators, coordinators, you name it! The compost site relies on the brain and brawn of all of our members!  

Those of you who attended our October volunteer get together and/or sent us emails with your volunteer preferences, we will be in touch in February! Get your skills ready!


NBCP selected as one of IOBY’s 2010 Heroes in Our Backyards!!! by katezidar
September 29, 2010, 6:31 pm
Filed under: fun, press

Seriously, just look at us go.  ioby (that’s “in our backyards” ), a great online microphilanthropy group dedicated to fostering environmental knowledge and action in NYC, has just selected NBCP as one of their 2010 Heroes in Our Backyards.  Our work is  going to be highlighted, along with several other grassroots efforts, at a benefit party on November 11th.

The event is going to take place at the Brooklyn Brewery right in our neck of the woods.   If you can – please, be in the room that night with Kate and I, and the rest of the core group.   Early bird tickets are still going at $50!

And if that’s too dear for your wallet right now, please donate $10 or $20 to ioby anyway. It will be a worthy investment.  This summer, ioby made it possible for us to raise $1,500 for site improvements, tools, fence – expect lots of awesomeness  at the pile very soon.

See ya at the pile,


NBCP featured in NY Magazine by katezidar
July 6, 2010, 2:22 pm
Filed under: press

Nice work, composters! We were featured for our Borg-like groupstink and collective action in NY Magazine this weekend.  And Dan got a photo credit! Thanks NY Mag!

The New Collectivism – Office shares, dessert swaps, babysitting co-ops, and other ways in which the city is becoming one giant commune.

“One needn’t be a lawn-mowing, barbecue-throwing deep-cover Russian spy to harbor latent socialist tendencies. Not in today’s increasingly communalized New York, where the sharing of everything from cabs to clothes to child care is suddenly modish, promoted by city officials, exploited by entrepreneurs, and pursued by legions of everyday citizens. Granted, there is some idealism at work here—you don’t offer to repair a stranger’s ceiling fan or hand over your living-room couch to a passing traveler without possessing a strong communitarian streak. But the modern collective is more about pragmatism than altruism. You want to buy Greenmarket pork at a wholesale price: Join a pig CSA. Fantasize about owning a Harley, but don’t want to maintain, register, or park it: There’s a company in Gowanus that wants to loan you a shiny new hog. Need help with your sweater-knitting or bike-tuning or app-inventing project? There is a group of like-minded skill-sharers out there somewhere (more likely than not in Brooklyn). On the following pages, we provide details on these and dozens more group-oriented endeavors…”

NBCP in Minds in the Gutter by katezidar
April 20, 2010, 5:27 pm
Filed under: fun, learnin', press

North Brooklyn Compost Project is featured in the Minds in the Gutter exhibit and panel discussion on creative solutions for sustainbile stormwater management in the public right-of-way. Get the whole story from Urban Omnibus, where an article written by NBCP founding member Kate Zidar was posted last week.

The first viewing of the Minds in the Gutter designs will take place on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 6:30pm at the Museum of the City of New York. Deborah Marton, Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space, will moderate a panel discussion about the submissions, featuring some of the competition’s jurors, exhibiting designers and representatives of the S.W.I.M. Coalition. For tickets and event info, click here. Minds in the Gutter was made possible by theNew York City Environmental Fund.

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?

Check out those cans! by katezidar
April 6, 2009, 6:57 pm
Filed under: press


OK everybody!  We are not accepting drop-off yet, but we DO have tons of compost screened, and more to go.  What are you doing with your worm castings this year? Growing for food? Growing for fun? Check out the crafty Greenpointer above who is planning a fully recycled garden this spring…

And check out the NBCP shout-out on the FRONT PAGE of today’s Metro paper!

Want to grow in New York City?  Metro asked environmental planner Kate Zidar for advice…

Find your local community garden through Green Thumb ( “Ask what you can do for the garden first and then you can learn what the garden can do for you and your pocketbook,” said Zidar.
2 Grow you own food in a window box. Zidar suggests basil and tomato (if you get enough light). “Get a little bit of compost and a little bit of dirt. Put it in a coffee jar and use wire to suspend it from the window,” she said.
3 Take a compost class. Zidar runs the North Brooklyn Compost Project and teaches New Yorkers how to make their own worm bins to recycle fruit and veggie scraps.

We are taking volunteers for spring screening, cleaning and street tree stewardship Saturday afternoons from noon till 4ish.  Email if you are planning to come or would like to work outside of those hours.