2016 Compost Grant

2016 City-­Wide Community-­Scale Composting Grant


The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (MSWAB), a citizen advisory board appointed jointly by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and New York City Council members representing districts in Manhattan, announces its 6th Annual Community-­‐Scale Composting Grant to provide funding assistance for community, small-­‐scale organic waste diversion initiatives across the city in 2016.

The SWAB membership consists of individuals from community boards, recycling and carting industries, environmental organizations, property owners, tenant organizations and members of the general public. The MSWAB advises the Manhattan Borough President, City Council and City administration regarding the development, promotion and operation of the city’s recycling program.

Recommendations for the city’s recycling program include methods to encourage greater participation, educate the public and increase waste diversion rates. 
Citizens Committee for New York City works with a wide network of grassroots groups across the five boroughs, supporting resident-­‐led groups working in low-­‐income neighborhoods undertaking projects addressing issues that they identify as important to them. In 2015, we awarded over $1.6 Million in grants and services and provided hundreds of hours of skills-­‐building workshops and project‐planning assistance to 367 resident-­‐led groups. In addition to grants, Citizens Committee provides resources, workshops, and project planning assistance to resident-­‐led groups from across New York City.

The Manhattan SWAB, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, and the Citizens Committee believe that organic waste diversion is central to the City’s goal of zero waste to landfills by 2030.  We believe that we can reinforce this goal through this grant program in supporting community based groups to compost in their communities, diverting organic waste and in the process reaching members of their community and providing an invaluable education service to familiarize New York City residents with the concepts and benefits of local management of our organic waste.  

Since the recycling of organic materials is a natural process, that if properly managed will provide compost, a natural soil amendment, we believe on-­‐site composting systems can deliver many environmental benefits. Compost increases the nutrient content and moisture retention of soil and can also eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers. Diverting compost from landfills prevents the production of methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas, and the formulation of leachate from landfills. Additionally, composting can offer economic benefits. 

Since its inception in 2011 the program has granted over $91,457 to 146 groups to undertake composting projects in their neighborhoods in all five boroughs. 

Send completed proposal no later than March 25, 2016 to sbernards@citizensnyc.org or by mail to:

Citizens Committee for New York City
Attn: Sabine Bernards
77 Water Street, Suite 202  
New York, NY 10005

If you have any questions, please contact Sabine Bernards at 212.822.9578 or sbernards@citizensnyc.org.

All selections will be made solely by the members of the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) and Citizens Committee, and awards will be announced by April 24, 2016. 


  • Provide funding assistance for community, small-­‐scale organic waste diversion initiative in all five boroughs

  • Encourage initiatives that utilize environmentally preferable alternatives to long-­‐distance waste export while also protecting our water bodies from excessive nutrient loading

  • Promote initiatives that generate soil amendments for gardens, parks, street trees, landscaping and/or are marketed as a product

Available Funds: 
Small grants, ranging from $100 to $750 will be available to awardees. 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Completed proposal submitted by March 25, 2016

  • Community association, community garden, friends of park group, housing development group, nonprofit, school, college/university, hospital, or private business

  • Site(s) for initiative must be located entirely in the five boroughs of New York City

  • Previous compost grantees may apply to expand or continue their past work

  • Group must have permission to start or expand this project in the form of a letter of support or contract

Funds should be used for building/purchasing equipment and tools for a compost system as well as signage or other resources for community outreach.  Funds cannot be used for planning or personnel expenses. Awardees must assume all liability for their projects and execute an agreement governing the project.

Selection Criteria:

  • Completeness of proposal requirements (application)Ability to recreate model in other neighborhoods

  • Ability to recreate model in other neighborhoods

  • Ability to educate target audience about the value of composting

  • Total estimated diversion rate

  • Ability to quantitatively track outcomes of the initiative (roughly measure the amount of food scarps diverted)

  • Ability to financially sustain the initiative/present a cost effective model

  • Ability to realize project, i.e., site permissions, track record of group