Reclaimed Organics: NYC Food Based Community Organization Spotlight

by Alexina Cather, MPH

What they do: Reclaimed Organics is a local, decentralized way for individuals to take an active role in recycling organics in their community.

By providing convenient pickup by bicycle, with local consolidation and processing at community gardens, we further reduce the impact that trucking trash normally has on our local community and greater environment – this is called: Closing the Loop.

How they do it: We use a mountain bike and a six foot custom trailed to collect and haul organics.  We use the bokashi method of composting for the food scraps we collect.  For the coffee we collect, we do normal thermophilic composting and trenching style. Recently we partnered with a local hauler who takes some of our compost to regional facilities, since we have reached capacity to process locally in the garden.

Mission: Reclaimed Organics is a pilot program for compost collection services for East Village residents & businesses. Bringing food scraps by bike to local community gardens for composting, or consolidating them for processing outside the city.

Latest project/campaign: Food Scraps pick up (for residents and businesses) via the Compost Collecting Bicycle

Major Funding: East Side High School Organic Community Garden, 14th Street Y, Common Ground Compost

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual budget: $30,000

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: Reclaimed Organics offers a green alternative to food waste pickup via their compost collecting bicycle.



  • 11th Street
  • New York, NY, 10009

A large volume of the organics we collect are processed in the East Side Outside School and Community Garden located at approx. 415 E 11th street

Core Programs: Organics recycling, residential and commercial (small business) compost pick up (East Village and northern part of the Lower East Side only), compost drop off for residents, commercial business, school, and nonprofit compost hauling service, and supporting community garden and greening projects with compost.

Number of staff: Five; all part time

Number of volunteers: 0

Areas served: Manhattan

Date started: Late 2014

Director: Laura Rosenshine;

Contact, 9176124782,

Photo: Reclaimed Organics

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