Submit Testimony on Thursday, May 21 / Executive Budget Hearing
May 18, 2020 —
To #SaveOurCompost, the most important thing we can do this week is submit written testimony on Thursday, May 21, at the city’s Executive Budget hearing. We’re asking that the city restore cuts to our community-based composting programs (like the nonprofits GrowNYC and the NYC Compost Project).
Having a coordinated effort, with thousands of submissions, will be most impactful. Here’s how:
- Submit testimony on Thursday (not before or after!)
- Submit in all three of the following ways:
- Submit written testimony via email to email@example.com
- Submit written testimony via the Council's website at council.nyc.gov/testify
- Submit testimony directly to the Office of Management and Budget via https://www1.nyc.gov/site/omb/contact/send-a-message-to-budget-director.page
You can submit testimony on behalf of yourself personally, and separate testimony on behalf of organizations (with their approval, of course).
Below is a template that you can use, with areas to modify in italics.
Lastly, we want to share our current framework for #SaveOurCompost:
- Short-term solution: immediately restore funding to community-based composting programs (which can be done with the Executive Budget)
- Medium-term solution: pass the CORE Act, which was introduced last week by Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Keith Powers (more on that later)
- Long-term solution: make composting mandatory across NYC, like recycling is. With more people participating, composting will actually become a source of income for the city, rather than an expense (the case for this is laid out very well in this op-ed from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Antonio Reynoso)
We hope you’ll submit testimony on Thursday in support of community-based composting.
Good afternoon, name is _________________ [and I am with _______________________________]. [Insert one sentence description of your local organization]. In this testimony, we ask that the City does not decimate its Climate Justice and Zero Waste plans and goals by eliminating opportunities for composting. [Option to add 1 sentence of importance of composting to you or your organization, and/or your organization’s importance to the community.]
The Mayor’s proposed budget would undercut much of the progress this City has made in diverting food scraps and yard waste from landfills -- a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. The Administration is slashing the DSNY budget by $106.5 million, with more than $28 million of that coming from a total elimination of all funding of recycling education and outreach and composting organic waste. This is short-sighted and has potential to have long-term implications, setting the City back further from its sustainability goals.
Today we urge the City Council to ensure that the City at least maintain the ability to continue some sort of composting, and not toss away the progress we have made in the past few years.
We are not asking that the Council restore all $28 million of organics program cuts. Rather, we are asking that the cuts to the NYC Compost Project and partners, and to GrowNYC, be restored, with expansion for community outreach and education. [Option to add one sentence at what this restoration means for you/your organization specifically]
The cuts to the NYC Compost project and partners and to GrowNYC together represent approximately $7 million, and with some additional funding, could go a long way to allowing New Yorkers to continue to source-separate food waste and preventing this major waste stream from going to landfill and emitting greenhouse gases.
This comparatively small amount of funding in the big picture would ensure that:
- At least eight non-profit organizations that rely on City-funding to provide organics collection and processing services, as well as community education, could continue their good work;
- At least 170 food scrap drop-off sites across all five boroughs can continue to divert this potent source of greenhouse gases from landfills;
- At least six community composting facilities can continue their work of processing the food waste to turn into usable compost to grow food in community gardens and urban farms during a time of food insecurity; and
- The City could continue vital education and outreach, needed to ensure that all New Yorkers, including all of our school children, understand why and how to compost and recycle – such training in the schools is a small investment that will pay off for decades by helping our children develop life-time habits of sustainable living.
We cannot understate the urgency of this ask to us/our organization [or “neighborhood” or “family”], and hope the Council ensures that this important priority not be left behind in the budget process.
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