Connected Compost

Connected Compost is an end-to-end product & service solution that encourages NYC residents to compost by supporting the food scrap drop-off process from home to bin. It harnesses the LinkNYC WiFi network to support “Internet-of-Things”(IOT) urban furniture & connected interfaces.

Connected compost has three main physical components:


  1. Smart scrap-collection bin for home that helps users know where/when to compost
  2. Smart autonomous compost pod for public spaces that uses embedded sensors to track information for partners & provide impact metrics both locally and system-wide.
  3. Compostable Bio-Plastic Bags that fit the home unit and can be deposited as is into the public pod. New bags are provided by the public pod.

Information Flow


Information is collected from public pods into an open-source database that can be mined using a custom API built.  This dataset will be made publically available through the NYCOpen data project.

We will also provide a simple User-interface solution for web/phone for users to access information about how/when/what to recycle and to track the impact food scrap collection at each unit to measure impact.

Partners will be able to access a custom dashboard with information about which units are full, the total weight of trash collected, the number of people who used the unit, and the number of times they needed information from the interface.

Project Goals

  • Attract new users to the NYC Compost Project by helping them better collect, transport and drop-off food scraps.
  • Demonstrate impact for new/current users, participating community based-organizations, and government stakeholders to encourage scale

Check out the slide deck.


Collaborators: Dana Martens, Geyao Zhang, Kai Cheng

Connected Compost was created for the Urban Interaction Design class at Parsons School of Design in the Spring of 2016.