Gowanus Canal Conservancy has been composting on the Salt Lot since 2011. In 2017, thanks to funding from District 39 participatory budgeting, Gowanus Canal Conservancy worked with NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse to begin operating the largest community-based compost facility in Brooklyn. Using electric blowers to force air through the compost pile, the facility is capable of processing up to 150 tons of organic matter per year.

Spring 2021 Volunteer & Engagement Opportunities 

Join us this season for a compost work day or site tour! All in-person events are limited in space and socially distant. Face masks are required. Register here for the following dates:

– Gowanus Community Compost Site Tour (Mondays from 1:30 – 2:30 pm)

– Compost Work Day (Wednesdays from 9:30 am – 12 pm)

Food Scrap Drop-Offs

Our food scrap drop-off is now accessible 24/7! Simply place all of your household food scraps (no meat or dairy, please) into the toter located at the entrance of the Salt Lot, 2 Second Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215. This organics drop-off is brought to you by NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse, a partner of Gowanus Canal Conservancy.. We accept food waste from households only. No businesses or other commercial generators may drop off. Come by and drop off your scraps at a time that is convenient for you! 








Free Compost

Free (limit of (5) 5-gallon buckets per pick-up)

For pick up only: Reserve your compost here.

We have a limited supply of pre-bagged compost. Be prepared to bag your own compost – we have bags and shovels to use.

We compost food scraps locally at our Salt Lot facility in partnership with the NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse.

Please note, compost is only distributed to public greening projects led by community groups, schools, or individuals; it cannot be given out for commercial or private residential use (as in backyards). Requests are approved based on availability.

Refer to this compost tip sheet to determine the amount of compost you need for your project. Remember that a little compost goes a long way!

Available in the following grades:

Recommended as a substitute for woodchips, such as for tree beds.

Recommended for planting beds and soil mixes.

Before You Pick-up:
The health and safety of our community is a priority. If any of the following conditions apply to you, stay home and DO NOT engage in stewardship activities outside the home:

– You are sick
– You are an older adult and/or have chronic health conditions, including chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system.

When You Pick-up:
– Do not gather in groups and keep at least six feet between you and others.

– Wear a face covering. People who do not show symptoms may still be able to spread COVID-19. A face covering prevents you from spreading COVID-19 to other people.

– Wash your hands often, including at the start and end of your volunteer opportunity. Use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not use your hands.

– Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

– Do not shake hands.

Only one person should come to the pick-up (if more than one person, everyone must be in the same household). Please come at the designated time on your ticket and follow the guidelines of NYC Department of Health for going outside, which includes practicing social distancing by maintaining a six feet distance from others and wearing a face covering.

Partners and Sponsors

NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse
Council Member Brad Lander
Council Member Stephen Levin
NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY)
NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)