Urban Composting On The Streets Of New York

Rooftop gardening, urban chickens, seed-sharing stations: we’ve seen a plethora of initiatives in which our cities serve as sites for agricultural activities.

Increasingly, our urban surroundings enable us to fulfill a much desired rural aspect of life and to bring out our inner-farmer. We can be self-sufficient in food as if we are living on the countryside, while still enjoying a vibrant city life.

New York Compost

Graphic designer Debbie Ullman found that in times of continuing digitalization, newspapers are on their decline. As a consequence, she turned her attention to empty newspapers boxes. Ullman turned a number of these now useless boxes into public composting bins. The result? New York Compost (see what she did there?) was born.

New York Compost

Spread across New York, from East Harlem to Lower East Side and Governor’s Island, three bright yellow compost bins ‘screaming’ NEW YORK COMPOST currently color the streets. People can freely use them to deposit their organic waste and do a little composting while going to work. How fun is that!

New York Compost New York Compost New York Compost

Being a fanatic composter herself for years now, Ullman’s addition to a scene of ‘urban agriculture’ is one that addresses multiple problems. First of all, it is a fun and welcome way to put redundant newspaper boxes to good use. Furthermore, by putting out compost bins she is offering citizens a proper place to deposit their organic waste and possibly reducing littering. But most important, New York Compost provides local residents with fresh and rich soil to support their urban farming practices, as Ullman’s aim is to keep it a highly local initiative.