July 29, 2013Initiatives to Help Double City Recycling Rate to 30 percent by 2017
Organics Recycling Pilot Expands to Manhattan; Areas in Brooklyn, Bronx to Follow This Fall
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway and Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty today launched the new “Recycle Everything” public information campaign to promote recycling and announced the expansion of the organic food waste recycling program. The initiatives are part of the City’s work to double the recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017 and follow the largest expansion of the recycling program in 25 years with the processing of all rigid plastics that began last spring. In total, metal, glass plastic and food waste, textiles and electronics account for 80 percent of the total waste stream and the public information and collection services will help divert materials that can be recycled away from landfills. The “Recycle Everything” ads – created by Grey New York – will be featured throughout the city and highlight the ambitious policies and investments that will enable more waste to be recycled. The City has also expanded the food waste recycling pilot programs in select high-rises in Manhattan, with neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx to follow this fall. Additional communities in those boroughs, as well as others in Queens and Staten Island, will begin organics recycling in the spring and the program will reach more than 100,000 residences by 2014. Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Holloway and Commissioner Doherty made the announcement in Morningside Gardens in Manhattan, where organics recycling began in June, and were joined by Sanitation Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability Ron Gonen, GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen, Claudia Strauss, CEO of Grey Activation and PR, and Russell Jermyn, General Manager of the Morningside Heights Housing Corporation.
“The ‘Recycle Everything’ ad campaign and the expansion of our organic food waste recycling program shows how far New York has come in managing the 11,000 tons of waste generated every day,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Together, these initiatives will help us double our recycling rate by 2017 and reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and I want to thank Grey for their incredible designs for our public information campaign. These ambitious policies will save at least $60 million in taxpayer dollars and have a significant environmental impact, making them the type of investments we need to secure the City’s future.”
“Our goal is simple: Recycle Everything. Mayor Bloomberg has invested millions in our recycling infrastructure so that New Yorkers recycle more than ever before,” said Deputy Mayor Holloway. “All rigid plastics can now be collected and re-used rather than rotting away in a landfill, and thanks to the unrivaled experience and vision of Sanitation Commissioner Doherty, we are moving aggressively to tackle the final recycling frontier—organic waste. With New Yorkers’ help, we’ll soon make the aspiration of our new campaign a reality.”
“New York City is changing the way we handle our solid waste and the Department of Sanitation is pleased to be at the forefront of this dramatic change that was initiated by Mayor Bloomberg through his innovative Solid Waste Management Plan,” said Sanitation Commissioner Doherty. “Expanding our organics collection to more high rise buildings and then into more residential neighborhoods across the city will mean less waste going to landfills and significant savings to the City.”
“We applaud Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership in expanding recycling in NYC as demonstrated here today,” said GrowNYC Executive Director Van Ooyen. “In 2006, he created GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education to assist his ambitious goals to divert more waste from disposal. Whether promoting textile, e-waste, and increased plastics recycling or working with the Department of Sanitation to establish organics recycling programs like those here at Morningside Gardens, GrowNYC is thrilled to be a component of the City’s efforts to ‘Recycle Everything.’”
“We could not be more proud of our partnership with the City and the Department of Sanitation,” said Strauss, CEO of Grey Group Activation and PR. “Creating a campaign that will positively impact the city we love and are headquartered in and working with an administration whose commitment to these issues is profound has been a dream assignment for all of us.”
The “Recycle Everything” public information ads feature a collage of iconic brand imagery refashioned over everyday items: a plastic bottle, soda can, food can, yogurt container and a magazine. The ads demonstrate that most materials can be recycled and will be remade into other products and follow the historic expansion of the recycling program that began last April, when New York City began to process all rigid plastics including toys, hangers, shampoo bottles, coffee cups and food containers. The City expanded the plastics recycling program to help meet the overall goal to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by 30 percent by 2017. The plastics recycling program will keep 50,000 tons of plastic waste from reaching landfill. The ads will run in newspapers and magazines beginning the July 29th and will be posted in newsstands, transit shelters, subway cars, on taxi tops and the Staten Island Ferry the week of August 5th. They are available on http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycmayorsoffice/.
Mayor Bloomberg also announced the expansion of the organic food waste recycling program to select buildings in Manhattan with communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx to follow this fall. The Mayor first announced the development of the residential organic recycling program in his 2013 State of the City address, chronicling the success of the pilot in more than 90 public schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Organic waste accounts for more than 35 percent of the total waste stream, and recycling will divert it from landfill to be composted or converted into energy. The program expanded to residents in the Westerleigh on Staten Island in late May. Since then, the Department of Sanitation has already measured a more than 50 percent voluntary participation rate.
Organics collection has begun in Manhattan at the Helena and Morningside Gardens apartment high rises. In Morningside Gardens, where the Mayor made the announcement, the total weight of trash has plummeted by 35 percent and households are recycling about one pound of food scraps each day. Given the success of the program, organics collection will begin this fall in Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn and in Throgs Neck, Edgewater Park, Schuylerville and Country Club in the Bronx. Next spring, the program will extend to Beechurst, Bay Terrace, Cambria Heights, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village in Queens; to Cobble Hill, Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn; and to areas of Staten Island including Midland Beach, New Dorp Beach, Tottenville, Howland Hook and Mariners Harbor. By 2014, the program will reach more than 100,000 with approximately 25,000 households in each borough.
In addition to the voluntary residential food waste recycling pilot, the City has partnered with GrowNYC to begin food scrap collection at green markers throughout the five boroughs. Households that choose to compost but are not in the Department of Sanitation pilot areas for collection can bring food waste to sites across the city, where it is used for composting at community gardens and for other environmental programs. The GrowNYC collection program is on track to divert more than one million pounds from landfill this year. The City has also developed Re-Fashion, a program for clothing and textile collection service in more than 280 buildings city-wide. In September, the City will began e-cycle, the most expansive electronics waste recycling collection service in the United States. More information about GrowNYC, recycling and organic food waste collection pilot is available on nyc.gov.
Marc La Vorgna / Lauren Passalacqua
Vito Turso (DSNY)