Brooklyn’s Precycle Grocery Store Promises Zero Waste

We often buy potatoes in bulk. Why not other produce?

Taking recycling to the next level, a new grocery store is ready to help shoppers reduce their grocery waste to zero, at least when it comes to the purchase of produce. Precycle, located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, sells fruit, vegetables, grains and more in bulk, and does not supply bags to hold them. Customers must come equipped with their own re-usable bags and containers for their purchases, or they can purchase re-usable bags and containers in the store.

Owner Katerina Bogatireva explained: “Precycling means making purchase decisions that would avoid sending things to landfill or recycling.”

Bogatireva’s idea came when she realized that she and her family were needlessly contributing lots of waste that would eventually end up in a landfill somewhere.

“For example, we eat a lot of rice and every time we eat rice it’s a lot of packaging.” she said.

Customers bring their own containers and weigh them before shopping. After filling the containers, they are weighed, and the weight of the container is deducted from the total weight. Prices are comparable to traditional stores, despite Precycle being a specialty shop which usually charges more. Some of the specialty items are a bit costlier.

One customer was able to keep one of her New Year’s resolutions to reduce her carbon footprint by shopping in Precycle.

“There’s so many staples that we buy that don’t need to be in a million layers of plastic and cardboard, so yeah I think zero waste is the way to go,” she said. “I work for the parks department and we do a lot of beach clean ups so I see just how much single use plastic ends up on our beaches.”

When people shop in Precycle they realize just how wasteful traditional shopping is, and the large negative impact it has on the environment.

“I think we have a responsibility to our future generations,” she said. “I’d like my son and his kids to enjoy the planet like I’ve had a chance to.”


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)