New York City Real Estate Company Composts Food for Rooftop Gardens

New York City real-estate company, the Durst Organization, is planning to spend nearly $1 million to install more than an acre of rooftop gardens on top of its Manhattan buildings using composted food, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The company owns several prime buildings including One World Trade Center and Four Times Square. In early 2012, food waste generated from Durst buildings (11 in total) began its journey into compost. Collected from kitchens and pantries within the city buildings, the food waste travels to Dutchess County where it winds up as compost at McEnroe Organic Farm before the compost soil mixtures are returned to Manhattan for use on the company’s rooftops.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amy Norquist, president and chief executive of Greensulate, a Manhattan-based company that designs, builds and maintains green roofs, says Durst is the first real-estate company to recycle food waste into compost for green roofs. Norquist calls it “forward thinking.”

The Wall Street Journal says the operation is saving water, too: “the Durst Organization’s green-roof system is able to retain about 55,000 gallons of water that would otherwise wind up in the sewer system. The company’s first green roofs, which are covered in a mixture of hardy, low-lying plants that don’t require deep soil, were installed last March above the Durst offices at One Bryant Park and at 675 Third Ave.

“By spring, the company will have installed green roofs on eight of its buildings, including 205 E. 42nd St., 655 and 733 Third Ave., 1133 and 1155 Sixth Ave. and 114 W. 47th St.”

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