Scrappy is the name of the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Organics mascot. He and his four fellow DSNY mascots (Zero the Hero, gray trash can; Bobby, blue recycle bin; Pattie Paper, green recycle bin; and Leif, lawn and leaf bag) were finally given names last year for 2019’s Earth Day. Now, due to budget cuts to balance out the funding going to COVID 19 Crisis aid, Scrappy has been furloughed.
One of the most damaging elements to the planet is food waste. According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations if food waste was a country, it would be the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China.
One third of what New Yorkers throw away falls into the food scrap and yard waste category. So the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) began its organics program to divert this waste from landfills and instead create compost and renewable energy.
However due to COVID 19 Stay Home the organics drop-off locations have been closed until further notice. As for pickups, it has been reported that there have been delays. Then on April 16, Mayor de Blasio unveiled his budget which proposed temporary suspension of the DSNY organics program and organics processing for a $21M savings. Directly above it was a mention that due to our unusually warm winter NYC saved $51M allocated for snow removal/accumulation prevention. The economic stresses caused by COVID 19 have forced the City to divert all necessary resources to aid in the COVID-19 relief efforts.
Therefore curbside collection of organics was cut and will be suspended starting on May 4 until further notice. DSNY will notify elected officials, community boards, and residents when service resumes. Updates will be made to the Department’s website and social media pages. Currently, the service suspension is planned through June 30, 2021.
Residents are encouraged to make compost on their own if they have the space to do so. Learn how to compost by downloading PDFs of educational materials from nyc.gov/recyclingmaterials in the Food Scraps + Yard Waste section. If you have questions about setting up your own compost system, email firstname.lastname@example.org.