Some Day We Will All Be Dirt: Closed-Loop Compost Planning in NYC

Kat Coleman, Fordham University


This paper examines the incorporation of composting into urban planning as a vital response to the climate crisis in New York City. A closed-loop system recycles all organic matter back into the soil it grew in and creates a sustainable practice by producing no waste. Current logistical food system operations—the way food is produced, procured, stored, transported, distributed, and wasted—are directly correlated to climate change because they produce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reflect unsustainable practices of waste. Composting is a pivotal practice within a closed-loop food system because it integrates the reuse of organic materials in the supply chain. This paper explores the extent to which residential urban composting can be an effective means to respond to the climate crisis, on account of its potential to mitigate systemic effects of current food waste processes that perpetuate climate change. It focuses on composting in New York City as one strategy within a broader approach to sustainable waste management in order to achieve municipal zero-waste goals. Eliminating food waste through composting must be a priority within municipal planning in order to mitigate urban effects of climate change. A closed-loop system of food waste is an integral factor in which New York City can meet issues of waste management while promoting urban sustainability.

Subject Area

Food Science|Sustainability|Environmental management

Recommended Citation

Coleman, Kat, "Some Day We Will All Be Dirt: Closed-Loop Compost Planning in NYC" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29163348.