Greene Acres runs a composting system, turning kitchen scraps into rich organic soil. Members can drop their scraps in the metal cans by the wooden bins near the back of the garden.

We meet regularly to empty the cans, turn the bins in the back, and sift finished compost which we use to fertilize plots and common areas. If you want compost to take home, you should become an active member of the composting team. Please clean up after yourself, and don't leave scraps anywhere outside the bins or the gate.

Please read the sign on the gate if you aren't sure what to compost.


What to compost


Fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps (rice, pasta, bread, grains), coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, egg and nut shells, cut or dried flowers, non-diseased houseplants, paper towels. (Make sure tea bags are compostable, some are made of plastic.)


Meat, chicken, fish, seashells, grease, dairy, animal waste, litter or bedding, coal or charcoal, diseased/infested or contaminated plants and soil, "biodegradable"/"compostable" plastics or diapers, weeds that will infest garden soil.


The smaller you chop your scraps, the better. Compost requires an even mix of greens and browns. Brown matter like straw, old leaves and sawdust is rich in carbon, while green matter like leaves and food scraps contributes nitrogen. Add browns from the barrel sparingly to the bin with your food scraps.

Compost is key to waste reduction: 30% of New York City residential garbage is suitable for composting. People worry about saving scraps because they stink, but in fact, anaerobic (without oxygen) breakdown causes the stench. If you don't seal your compost in an airtight container, it won't stink when you open it. Get a bucket that is easy to carry when it is full, something with a lid too loose for stench but too tight for rodents. If you keep scraps in your kitchen, you may choose, like many members, to store your scraps in the freezer.

The Sanitation Department offers more information on NYC Organics Programs