PHCF Receives Green Thumb 2020 Community Composting Award

PHCF’s Community Composting Team, led by the indefatigable Brian T, received the Green Thumb 2020 Community Composting Award!

Garden members Pamela, Traci, Brian T and Dave (pictured above from left to right) attended the ceremony on October 13th to accept the award.  In 2020 PHCF served 2,366 community members, diverting approximately 17,000 pounds of organic material from the waste stream and providing an immeasurable service to the community. 

Here’s the full story:

When COVID-19 hit NYC in March 2020,  90% of the City compost budget was cut, eliminating curbside brown-bin pickups and an extensive network of programs via GrowNYC which provided food scrap drop-off sites at Green Markets and subway stations. The response from the PHCF Compost Team was immediate.  Only six weeks later they debuted a Community Compost Program, bringing to the neighborhood its composting knowledge and expertise (not to mention extreme enthusiasm). 

It began quietly with a pilot program to collect food scraps from the community at the PHCF garden gate, masked and socially distanced. Instantly popular and soon beyond the Compost Team’s capacity to process, they forged partnerships with two nonprofit organizations, first NatureBased and then BigReuse, to accept most of the scraps collected from the community.  

It took the proverbial village to provide these services. In 2020 Community Compost Team members worked almost 80 shifts and logged well over 200 hours. Community composting also had leadership from garden member Brian T, who saw possibilities where others saw problems, and from PHCF garden coordinator,  Martha E who brainstormed solutions to the many challenges implementing a community composting program presented, and carried more than her share of food scrap buckets!

Another image of the crew!

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