EXCESS NYC
Food Rescue & Compost
by Brooke Singer & Ricardo Miranda Zuniga

Facts


WHAT IS THE BIGGEST U.S. EXPORT?

GARBAGE

HOW MUCH FOOD GOES UNEATEN IN THE U.S.?

1 IN 7 TRUCKS OF PERISHABLE TO U.S. SUPER MARKETS

HOW MANY AMERICANS ARE HUNGRY?

1 IN 6

WHAT IS THE 3RD LARGEST SOURCE OF METHANE IN THE U.S.?

ROTTING FOOD IN LANDFILLS

WHAT IS THE MOST POTENT GREENHOUSE GAS?

METHANE

HOW MUCH OF OUR GARBAGE IS FOOD?

~30 - 50%

HOW MUCH EDIBLE FOOD WASTED IN THE U.S. IS RECOVERED?

10%

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST U.S. EXPORT?

GARBAGE

Project


Excedentes/Excess is a public art project focused on the food rescue and composting of discarded foods that has travelled from Madrid to New York City.

Interviews


Joe Holtz, founding member and current general manager of the Park Slope Food Coop, discusses its history and food waste practices.

Joel Berg is the Director of New York City Coalition Against Hunger. Joel shared his thoughts regarding food reclamation and waste in relation to supermarkets.

Although Joel Berg, Director of NYC Coalition Against Hunger does not believe that urban food reclamation will end hunger, he recognizes the harm of food waste as landfill to the environment.

Michael Elinson, the chef of Sustainable Living Roadshow 2011 Right2Know Tour collects food from the farmer's stands at the end of the day for that evening's dinner.

According to Joel Berg, food reclamation of discarded food from supermarkets is minor in comparison to the food that could be salvaged from farmer's fields following harvest.

In our research regarding food waste in NYC, we visited Alex Mallis at his studio to discuss his film "Spoils" and his experience regarding food waste and reclamation.

No More Excuses


Smelly is when food waste is in a black bag on the curb.
Ron Gonen, co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund and former Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City

Then you aren't making compost. The pile must remain aerobic, so beneficial organisms can do their plant-beneficial work.
Elaine R. Ingham, President, Soil Foodweb Inc., Microbiologist and Soil Life Consultant

So are you but you do things to cover up your smells (thank goodness)!
Paul Richens, Blue Dome Synergie

You can correct this by adding more carbon-based brown materials such as dried leaves, straw, or even newspaper. Proper composting should smell good-like fresh, vital dirt that's teeming with life!
Sharon Perrone, Center for Food Safety

We already have rats because we don't manage our food waste separately and properly.
Ron Gonen, co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund and former Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City

Not if it's done right, and especially if you use tumblers. Here's a video on how to control rats at a compost site.
David Buckel, Volunteer, Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm, Brooklyn, NY

Drop it off at the community compost collection site and you won't have to deal with that part of things.
Gil Lopez, Smiling Hogshead Ranch

No more than taking the trash out or taking out the recycling.
Domingo A. Medina, Compost Team Leader of New Haven Farms Inc.

Yes it is hard work, but it also hard work to be nice to people every day.
David Buckel, Volunteer, Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm, Brooklyn, NY

I have a whole list of successful-lazy composters to refer you to. Including myself!
Melissa Young, Volunteer Coordinator, Easter Queens Compost, Queens County Farm Museum

You are a real American hero.
Gil Lopez, Smiling Hogshead Ranch

Don't be ridiculous.
-Ron Gonen, co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund and former Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City

Proper composting reduces the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. Reducing methane is one of the biggest reasons to compost.
David Buckel, Volunteer, Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm, Brooklyn, NY

And how you doing without your car?!
Paul Richens, Blue Dome Synergie

People have figured out how to compost on fire escapes in New York City. It's a matter of values and whether people live their values or just talk about them. When composting really can't happen at home, there are places to take scraps to be composted.
David Buckel, Volunteer, Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm, Brooklyn, NY

If you've got space for waste you've got space for composting!
Blue Dome Synergie

No. But you are taxpayer and sending organics to landfill costs money.
Ron Gonen, co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund and former Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City

Anyone who grows plants needs to be making compost, to improve growth and health of their plants, and to exit diseases and pest problems as well.
Elaine R. Ingham, President, Soil Foodweb Inc., Microbiologist and Soil Life Consultant

Most composters aren't farmers.
Melissa Young, Volunteer Coordinator, Easter Queens Compost, Queens County Farm Museum

It is legal. What should be illegal is sending organics to landfill.
Ron Gonen, co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund and former Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City

In some cities, like San Francisco, it is just the opposite. Residents are required to compost their food waste so it does not end up incinerated or in landfills.
Dawn Pettinelli, UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory, Dept of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

Agreed.
-Ron Gonen

Yes, this should indeed be a city project, and it should also be every individual's project, just like cities conserve water and help us do the same, we also deploy our own intelligence and values to conserve water.
David Buckel, Volunteer, Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm, Brooklyn, NY

Why give the city your fertility?
Blue Dome Synergie

The alternative is to put it in the trash that will end up in a municipal facility for incineration paid by the city with the known environmental implications.
Domingo A. Medina, Compost Team Leader of New Haven Farms Inc.

If it decomposes in landfill, it harms the environment. If it is composted properly, it helps the environment.
David Buckel, Volunteer, Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm, Brooklyn, NY

I do. And you should too.
Ron Gonen, co-founder of the Closed Loop Fund and former Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation, Recycling and Sustainability for New York City

Everyone on this planet needs to contribute to reducing pollution. Instead of sending food wastes and plant debris to landfills, turn this material into your own potting mix, improving plant growth without application of toxic materials, and reduce your costs at the same time (reduced landfill fees, no need to buy potting mix, no inorganic fertilizers or pesticides).
Elaine R. Ingham, President, Soil Foodweb Inc., Microbiologist and Soil Life Consultant

Your kids care. If you don't have kids your parents probably cared and your grandparents definitely cared. Apathy is not an excuse.
Gil Lopez, Smiling Hogshead Ranch

ACTION: 2103 lbs diverted


From fall 2012 to summer 2013, we worked with the Brooklyn restaurant Lincoln Station to divert over 2,000 pounds or 1 ton of coffee grounds from the waste stream. Rather than the coffee grounds being thrown away to go to landfill, it was composted to create top quality compost.