Urban Freezer Composting

By Chelsea Morse Posted September 15, 2010

F&W's features intern Chelsea Morse has found a new life for her kitchen scraps:


Since starting a small backyard garden in New York City this summer, I’ve been looking for a safe and sanitary way to create a compost pile—without smells, pests or any other unpleasantness. I’ve heard about various under-counter compost systems, but they all sounded potentially messy. A friend recently suggested freezer composting, and now I’m hooked.


Each week, my husband and I fill a plastic bag with our biodegradable kitchen scraps that we then put into the freezer (the cold temperature keeps food from breaking down). We then deliver the frosty bag to the Union Square Greenmarket, where the Lower East Side Ecology Center receives food waste for composting four days a week, year-round. We don’t get to reap the benefits of all that good dirt we’re helping to create (the LESEC processes the waste and then sells the compost at the market), but we feel virtuous about the trash we’re keeping out of landfills—and the urban gardens we’re supporting.

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