This year in 2017,on November 4th, history was made as the 2017 Pumpkin Smash on Roosevelt Island became part of the Department of Sanitation’s official citywide efforts to reduce landfill waste via NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse. NYC Compost Outreach Coordinator, Erycka de Jesus, brought several members of the BigReuse team and gave out caps to participants. She brings warmth, safety, and education to every event she partners with. Girl Scout leaders, Dimaura Cole and Lauren Faye brought their troops to volunteer. RIOC staff Fernando Vargas, Jessica Murray, and Erica Spencer-EL helped out and attended alongside key Island volunteers, Kim Massey and Dawn Price. Cornell Tech Community and Government Liaison, Jane Swanson helped directly on the smashing tarp and Niti Parikh of Cornell Tech MakerLAB also volunteered. We had students from UNIS as well as Island youth, Maria Starkova and Zamir Eleusizov, with photos by Akylbai Eleusizov. At the end of the day, Roosevelt Island Garden Club received a special visit from Marguerite Manela, Senior Manager, Community Composting and Compost Distribuition - NYC Department of Sanitation DSNY. She graciously helped us cart materials back to the garden and took a special tour of our community garden compost system with Anthony Longo. For more information click on the Roosevelt Islander blog post here.
It all started in 2015, when Anthony Longo invited families to smash their pumpkins at the garden. The two children and three adults who turned up showed great potential and created our first annual Pumpkin Bash . In 2016, thanks to Manhattan Park, RIOC, iDig2Learn, the RI Garden Club, Big Reuse led the way for a trial run with a local Pumpkin Bash and Leaf Gathering, and 1,100 pounds of pumpkin matter was diverted from landfill as nearly 200 attendees came to smash.
This event was an extension of the NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse who run the weekly food scrap drop held every Saturday near the Roosevelt Island farmers market from 9 AM to 2 PM. Islanders have dropped more than 50,000 pounds of food scraps since 2015. That is over 25 tons of scraps or visually the equivalent of 13 SUV’s filled with banana peels. Locally, just under the Queensboro bridge in Long Island City NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse processes our banana peels, coffee grinds, egg shells, bread and even mango and avocado pits into compost. Throughout the year that compost is returned to school garden projects, the community garden, island tree pits and our residents. Thank you for being part of the sustainability effort.
This was made possible by NYC Compost hosted by BigReuse, Manhattan Park, iDig2Learn, Roosevelt Island Garden Club, and RIOC. In Collaboration with 217PTA, RI Parents' Network, Island Kids, Girl Scouts, Gristedes, Wengerd Farm, RIRA, RIYP, NYC Ferry Operated by Hornblower who gave away a 30 day pass, Cornell Tech and RI Explorers
Special thanks go to Christina Delfico, RIOC team Fernando Vargas, Jessica Murray and Erica Spencer-EL, Brian Weisberg and the Manhattan Park team, Big Reuse Leah Retherford, Devin Reitsma, Erycka de Jesus, RI Garden Club Julia Ferguson and Anthony Longo, all Girl Scout leaders including Aiesha Eleusizov and Janine Schaefer, PS 217 Erin Olavesen, Olga Seliger, Nathalie Chetrit, Natalie Starkova and Ursula Fokine, Luis Torres of Gristedes, Wengerd Farmers, Jeff Escobar of RIRA, Jane Swanson of Cornell Tech, Franny Citivano and Elana Ehrenberg of NYC Ferry Operated by Hornblower, Cecilia and Tsoni of RI Parents' Network, Nikki Leopold of Island Kids, RIYP, RI Explorers and everyone who helped to spread the word.