Why is there a lock on the box on 11th Street? I thought this was supposed to be easy.
The lock is to prevent passers-by from throwing dog poop and stuff like that into the box. I know it's tempting but...I always wondered how often this happens in post office or library book drop boxes. I actually heard they stopped using the library boxes some time ago for this reason (though they seem to be making a comeback).
How do I get the combination for the lock?
Fill out the form when you click on the 'Contact' tab and I'll send you the combination...or visit http://www.reclaimedorganics.org/ for more information. They are maintaining the locked box.
But why can't I throw my pup's poop in the box? It's natural...
If your animal is a carnivore, you shouldn't compost the poop because it contains harmful bacteria. It's not something you want to be adding to your veggie garden. Chicken poop, on the other hand, is cool (or hot, depending how you look at it).
So what is allowed in the box?
• Fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, filters, and paper tea bags
• Bread and grains
• Egg shells
• Nuts and shells
• Food-soiled paper towels and napkins
• Shredded newspaper (but NOT colored or glossy paper)
• Sawdust and wood shavings from untreated wood (NOT pressure-treated or plywood)
• Beans, flour, and spices
• Cut or dried flowers, houseplants and potting soil (make sure they are NOT diseased or insect-infested)
Won't the boxes smell and attract rats?
There are sealed bins inside the boxes which will be emptied daily. These boxes are not composters themselves; but rather drop boxes for organics. The material will be composted outside of the boxes, onsite. As far as rats go, Containing food scraps in sealed containers does way more to control rodent populations and odors than tossing scraps in black garbage bags which can be chewed through in nanoseconds and leak.
Are you making some commentary about the New York Post with this?
Not at all. All politics aside, I wanted to play off of the word 'post' and since a US Post Office box was harder to get, I went with the newspaper box. Also, having worked at tabloid newspapers for 12 years, it made more sense to me. The way information is being disseminated has changed, and as these boxes become more and more obsolete, this is one way I see them being re-used. Plus, newspaper can be a decent source of carbon for your compost pile or worm bin.
Aren't you afraid that Newscorp will sue you?
Ummm. Yeah. It did cross my mind...but I hope that they understand that I'm not making a cent off of this. It's sort of free advertising for them, a bit of a parody and it's a positive thing for the environment. If anyone confuses the box with the actual paper being behind it, they would probably think good things. Compost is not trash or waste. It's only waste if it's being wasted. These food scraps are going to be turned into a rich soil amendment. And it doesn't take Martha Stewart to say 'that's a good thing.'
Is this an art project?
It is an urban intervention. Read the definition here.
So why aren't the boxes by the subway stations like in the photographs?
My first inclination was to have them near subway entrances where the other newspaper boxes are, making organics recycling an easy part of one's daily routine...but...the DOT would probably confiscate the boxes pretty quickly and fine me a bunch of $$$ and it took me enough time and $$$ to make these in the first place. I also thought it would be nice to have the boxes reside at locations that compost on site. This way, the organics put into the boxes will go no further than a few feet to be processed. The photos are suggestions of what it could be like if they were even one step more accessible to commuters.
Did you steal the boxes?
No! I love newspapers and want people to be able to read them and have access to them...The boxes used in this project were decommissioned. One came from a newspaper I worked for and the others were bought from a prop house that went out of business (R.I.P. Film Biz Recycling).