Thursday was Earth Day.  Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla took the opportunity to announce the expansion of Hoboken’s free residential composting options for residents. The Hoboken Department of Environmental Services and Community Compost Company will triple the size of the program by offering free residential compost at eight additional composting spots later this spring, in addition to four existing drop-off locations. In 2020, Hoboken’s drop-off composting program diverted 27.71 tons of food waste from landfills, and offset 1,584 gallons of gas and nearly 35,000 driven miles. With the expansion, the City’s full composting program is estimated to avoid 5.6 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from traditional waste disposal, which is the equivalent of removing 15 cars from roadways.

“The numbers speak for themselves – our free composting program has made a direct impact on improving our environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Bhalla. “This new expansion will significantly boost these efforts, and ensure almost all Hoboken residents have access to drop-off composting within a short walk of their home. I thank Director Jen Gonzalez, David Calamoneri, the Hoboken Green Team, and Community Compost Company for helping this program expand from one location in 2018 to twelve this year.”

The following new locations for drop-off composting will be added later this spring:

  • Harborside Park (near shade structure in the center of the park)
  • Jackson Street Community Garden
  • Maxwell Park (near Boathouse)
  • Multi-Service Center (near rink on Adams Street between 1st and 2nd Streets)
  • Southwest Park (on Harrison Street between Observer Highway and Paterson Avenue)
  • Stevens Park (on 4th Street at River Street)
  • Viaduct (14th Street at Adams Street)
  • Columbus Park (near 9th & Clinton Street)

The following locations are accepting drop-off composting:

  • City Hall (near patio behind City Hall on Bloomfield Street between Newark and First Streets)
  • 7th & Jackson Plaza (near Portland Loo restroom on 7th Street between Monroe and Jackson Streets)
  • Church Square Park (near restrooms in the center of the park)
  • Elysian Park (near restrooms on the north side of the park)

The expansion of composting is the latest step in Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan, established by Mayor Bhalla in an Executive Order on Earth Day in 2019, calls for Hoboken to become carbon neutral by 2050, exceeding the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In 2018, the City of Hoboken and Community Compost Company expanded the composting program to include weekly curbside pickup of food scraps for local businesses and schools, and also introduced the free composting drop off location at the Public Works Garage. In 2020, the free residential drop-off program expanded to 4 sites. Community Compost Company also offers an option for residential pick-up of food scraps directly from the doorstep on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for a fee.

The Community Compost Company takes collected food scraps to farms where they are recycled into compost, which is used to fertilize the soil. Typically, garbage from Hoboken is transported to a landfill in West Virginia and tipping fees alone cost approximately $106 per ton of waste. In comparison, food scraps and other organic materials are transported to a farm in upstate New York, costing approximately $20 per ton of waste. With the expansion, the composting program is estimated to save Hoboken taxpayers up to $75,000 a year in garbage disposal fees.

Separating food scraps and other organic materials from garbage for composting diverts waste from the landfill and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It also saves money for Hoboken taxpayers by cutting down on landfill fees and the volume and frequency of garbage collection.

For more information and to sign-up for composting, visit https://www.hobokennj.gov/resources/compost.