Full Petition text
With the project for a new park in the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, we propose creating a temporary community composting site in the park to relieve the city waste stream during the hiatus of the Brown Bin Program. We are also proposing to use the area to grow food to be donated to families who have been directly affected by the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, our initiative will fulfill Mayor de Blasio’s directive for green infrastructure and address the need to mitigate the effects of climate change. Composting is an efficient tool to mitigate strains on the waste stream, transforming waste into a resource and, most importantly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting the ability of plants to sequester carbon (Brown and Beecher. 2019). It is a carbon negative technology.
This lot is currently unused and in the current situation, the project of developing a public park is likely to be delayed. Therefore, we at Sunny Compost propose to put the park to greater use. We have been keeping records of the food waste that has been collected since summer 2016, and we observed a nearly 4.5 fold increase in the past 3 weeks. This shows a real need for providing more community composting sites. Additionally, the available cultivable space in the park could be rapidly used to produce locally-grown food for families in need.
Finally, letting us – a volunteer-based group – use the site until workers are ready to transform the space into a city park, will come at no cost to the Parks Department, the DSNY or New York City. The additional services we would provide – food waste collection, food production for pantries, cultivation of the land – will improve conditions for residents and save money for the city. For example, producing food to distribute to families in need is a clear benefit to the city. Additionally, the compost produced will be available for the development of the park, and proper cultivation of the area will provide stormwater management opportunities.
We, at Woodside Sunnyside Composting Collective (WSCC) and within the Sunnyside/Woodside community at large, are asking that this said land be utilized immediately to create a vital food source and help to create finished compost that will help to build climate resilient soils in NYC.
Brown, S. and N. Beecher. 2019. Carbon accounting for compost use in urban areas. Compost Sci. Util. 27:227-239
Graves, RA., Haugo, RD., Holtz A., et al. 2020. Potential greenhouse gas reduction from Natural Climate Solutions in Oregon, USA. PLoS One. 10:15(4\)
(as of 05/12/2020)
WSCC may contact you to ask you to send a message or call your representative/Queens parks commissioner