In a preview of what is the Department of Sanitation (DOS) has been rolling out incrementally across the city for residents, the brown bins have arrived in Woodhaven. As part of a New York City Department of Education (DOE) program to divert solid waste by collecting food scraps, Public School 97 in Woodhaven is now composting.
In brown bins approximately the size of garbage containers, the school is now separating organics from other forms of solid waste. The school, like residents, has been recycling paper, plastic, glass and metal for many years. But in the 2012-13 school year the DOE launched a pilot composting program with 90 schools, collecting nearly 500 tons. Last year the program was expanded to include 360 schools. This year approximately 400 schools in 250 buildings were added. "After this expansion, the organics collection program will be in 40% of DOE schools," according to a page on the DOE Sustainability Initiative website.