New York Compost-Newspaper Box-Debbie Ullman-6

New York Compost, a project by designer Debbie Ullman,  a former art director at the New York Daily News takes those ubiquitous but underutilized newspaper boxes you see on the sidewalks of New York City and turns them into clever, guerrilla composting sites. A composting proponent, Ullman uses decommissioned newspaper boxes to collect compost to make the experience fun, memorable, and transformative.

New York Compost-Newspaper Box-Debbie Ullman-8Photo via New York Compost by Debbie Ullman.

One major stumbling block Ullman hopes to address with New York Compost is to change how New Yorkers perceive the relative ease or difficulty of the composting process and make it convenient for residents to compost within their daily routine. Local composting as opposed to trucking it to other states or boroughs, she says, reduces carbon emissions.

New York Compost-Newspaper Box-Debbie Ullman-10Photo via New York Compost. by Debbie Ullman.

As Ullman tells the Huffington Post, first and foremost she considers “this project to be an urban intervention. It is a response to the social community, the built environment, and public space. Some of the goals of the project are to create a new awareness of composting and to stimulate community involvement and interaction. I wanted to create an unexpected experience by up-cycling the boxes which are such a part of our urban fabric but are quickly becoming ‘yesterdays news.'”

New York Compost-Newspaper Box-Debbie Ullman-7New York Compost in the Lower East Side. Photo via New York Compost by Debbie Ullman.

While the photographs of the newspaper boxes next to subways are staged, the project is currently active at Earth Matter on Governor’s Island, the Urban Garden Center in East Harlem, and at the East Side High School Community Garden in the East Village.

New York Compost-Newspaper Box-Debbie Ullman-11Photo via New York Compost by Debbie Ullman.

Clearly a big fan of puns, Ullman uses a faux New York Post cover to decorate the outside of the newspaper boxes – even the New York Compost website is designed like the newspaper.