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NYC Parks Department challenged over decade-old Queens compost site

Group fighting to save composting site in Queens
Group fighting to save composting site in Queens 01:49

NEW YORK -- A local organization rallied outside the city's Parks Department in Central Park on Monday in an effort to save its compost site that will be closing this summer.

Big Reuse, a nonprofit that works to fight climate change through zero-waste initiatives, says its 10-year-old compost site in Long Island City is being evicted from a city-owned lot and has been told it needs to be out by June 30.

"It's against what the community wants, it's against what's good for the climate, and we're hoping Parks can see that," said Justin Green, the executive diirector at Big Reuse.

The half-acre lot is located just underneath the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Big Reuse said the one location helps contribute to the majority of compost it makes, adding the site in jeopardy helps take in 2 million pounds of food scraps and yard waste annually, including waste it receives from the Parks Department.

"We're taking the off cuts and trimmings from Parks, we're turning it into really great compost, and we're giving a huge majority of composts back to Parks," said Gil Lopez, the compost and event coordinator at Big Reuse.

Parks Department says it has plans for the site

The Parks Department sent CBS New York a statement that says in the fall it plans to use the space to revitalize the park and provide more recreational amenities, access to greenways, and improve public spaces.

The statement also says, "While we support composting and recognize the important work Big Reuse does, we look forward to executing our vision for this space to enhance the neighborhood's quality of life, including the nearby NYCHA complex. "

"We need agencies like the Parks Department to understand that we really provide a huge benefit," Lopez added.

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