Bushwick residents sell food scraps to posh Park Slopers



It’s not a load of crap!

BK ROT, run by a crew of industrious Bushwick denizens, are selling pricey “locally sourced, handmade” decomposed food waste — also known as compost — to their posher Park Slope neighbors.

The eco-friendly shoppers of the ultra-crunchy Park Slope Food Coop can buy a small paper bag of the nutrient- and organism-rich stuff for $6.25 per pound.

That’s a hefty markup from the $3 to $5 suggested donation per 10-gallon “burlap bag” advertised on the nonprofit organization’s website. Lowe’s lists a 40-lb. bag of organic compost for $3.98.

The Park Slope Food Coop — whose motto includes the phrase “low prices” — did not return messages.

BK ROT, No Waste Lands Park at 1278 Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn.
BK ROT, No Waste Lands Park at 1278 Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn.

BK ROT is “staffed by young people of color who haul residential and commercial organic waste and transform it into high-quality compost,” according to its website. That transformation happens on the “Lenape lands BK ROT now stewards,” referring to Gotham’s first Native American inhabitants and a community garden at the intersection of Myrtle and Dekalb avenues.

BK ROT Compost
BK ROT Compost

The compost is processed in boxes and in four-foot piles on the garden grounds. Once the coffee grounds, egg shells, banana peels and so on have been broken down and sifted, BK ROT uses it to provision urban farms or sell back to earthy Brooklynites.

“It’s just old food scraps,” one Sloper grumbled to the Post. “Seems expensive.”

The company says its carbon-free, bicycle-powered operations turned 109 tons of organic waste into 54 tons of compost in 2019, according to its annual report. In this way, according to the report, the organization works “to fight climate change, environmental racism, and gentrification.”

BK ROT reported program revenue of $19,375 in 2018, according to federal filings, plus grants and contributions of $154,510. Founder Sandra Nurse — who unsuccessfully ran for City Council after Rafael Espinal unexpectedly resigned — took $23,915 in compensation from the organization that year, according to the tax filing.

BK ROT, founded in 2013, didn’t return messages seeking comment.


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