A Fruitful Tradeoff: Compost for Fresh Produce Credits

hello compost


Hello Compost proposes a program that allows low-income New Yorkers to turn their compost in for produce credits. This system offers a multi-faceted solution, which encourages New Yorkers to give more thought about trash disposal, and helps bring fresh produce to people who may not have access or the means to buy fruits and vegetables.


A city like New York, with a population of more than eight million, generates a gargantuan amount of landfill waste. Of that monster mess, about 35 percent is organic matter. And while the city plans to roll out a new composting program this fall–albeit a voluntary one–its recycling and composting rates have long trailed behind smaller cities, especially those on the west coast.

For the most part, the obstacle to thoughtful trash disposal is that”…it’s easier not to think about it. And arguably, where’s the short-term incentive to sort or save something–especially when that involves breaking an everyday habit–rather than just throwing it away? That question becomes more acute for low-income families, where how to keep the food coming in is the concern, not how it goes out.

“We realized early on that composting is a tough sell to anyone living in New York City, let alone families in lower-income situations,” Luke Keller, Hello Compost co-founder tells Co.Design. “Like recycling, it’s a process that requires sorting on the resident’s behalf, so it risks becoming a hassle.””…Continue Reading

Niki De Witt headshot 150x150 A Second Chance for Orphaned Elephants in KenyaABOUT THE CURATOR

Niki is currently exploring Asia while working on a children’s book series about travel. As a child, she traveled and moved often for her parents’ jobs. As a result of this, she has always felt most at home when she’s off and away. She is interested in international films, working on building an impressive tea collection, and can often be found with her camera in hand. You can have a look-see at her blog and follow her on Twitter @nikidding.

Photo by kirstyhall

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