Dates and times below are subject to change, and additional programs will be added as details are confirmed. Please check back regularly for updated information.
Getting to Zero kicked off with a lecture by Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation, about New York’s campaign to become a zero waste city, followed by a discussion with Kate Ascher, partner at Buro Happold and author of The Works: Anatomy of a City. Read more
The 10th Annual Panorama Challenge, organized by The Levy’s Unique New York to benefit the City Reliquary and the Queens Museum, will feature a round of trivia questions about the city’s waste system, inspired by OHNY’s Getting to Zero series. Read more
For more than three decades, DSNY sanitation worker Nelson Molina rescued tens of thousands of objects from the garbage of his upper Manhattan route. Now installed in an astonishing “museum” display on the second floor of the M11 garage, the collection is a profound commentary on waste and consumption. Read more
We throw away huge quantities of objects and material long before the end of their useful lives. From t-shirts and toys to lumber and light fixtures, reuse will be a fundamental part of life in a zero waste city. Tour two major reuse centers to learn about existing models that could be scaled up. Read more
A program of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, Materials for the Arts connects thousands of nonprofits, city agencies, and public schools with supplies, furniture, and other goods donated by private companies and individuals, diverting hundreds of tons of material from the waste stream while simultaneously enriching the cultural sector. Read more
Join us for a talk by NYU professor and DSNY anthropologist-in-residence Robin Nagle, author of Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City, about the historical evolution of the city’s waste infrastructure. Read more
Built as part of the City’s 2006 Solid Waste Management Plan, this state-of-the-art transfer station is part of the city’s effort to shift waste handled by DSNY to a rail- and marine-based transportation system, dramatically reducing air pollution caused by truck-based transport. Read more
While most of New York’s waste is sent to landfills far from the city, around 25% makes its way to waste-to-energy facilities across the region. A tour of one of these plants located in suburban New Jersey will look at the technology that transforms trash into electricity. Read more
When the cap of a landfill built by Robert Moses in the early 1950’s eroded into Jamaica Bay, artifacts from the period appeared in the sand, creating the infamous “bottle beach.” Explore the site and learn about the long-term environmental impacts of the landfill’s slow disintegration, which continues to this day. Read more
DSNY’s fleet of thousands of vehicles—the trucks and street sweepers that are likely the most familiar element of the waste system for many New Yorkers—are repaired and refurbished in a building in central Queens that is as long as the Chrysler Building is tall.
The first of OHNY’s annual summer boat tours will consider the role that the city’s waterways have historically played as critical conduits in moving New York’s garbage in and out of the city, with waste systems experts on-board to guide the way. Read more
While the city once relied on a network of several landfills across the outer boroughs, by the 1990s only the colossal Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island remained. Today, more than a decade after its closure, the site is in the midst of a transformation into one of the city’s largest parks.
This award-winning building, home to three Sanitation districts, set new standards for design excellence for DSNY facilities. It is the department’s first LEED Gold-certified building and features a double-skin façade, custom perforated metal fins that mitigate sun exposure, and a green roof that softens views from neighboring buildings, protects the roof membrane, and enhances storm water retention and thermal performance.
Built with public education in mind, this stunning marine transfer station is the destination of the bulk of New York City’s recyclables, and serves as another clear illustration of how good design can turn infrastructure into a local asset.
A disproportionate amount of the city’s garbage is routed through the neighborhoods along Newtown Creek on its way out of town. This tour with Newtown Creek Alliance will consider the impact of the waste system on the city’s most polluted waterway and the rapidly growing communities that surround it.
Spring & Summer 2017
Getting to Zero will include public tours across the city, as well as lectures and other special events to help New Yorkers better understand how waste has shaped the city, and how it could once again transform the built environment if New York is successful in its efforts to become a zero waste city. Special programming will also included in the 15th Annual Open House New York Weekend on October 14-15, 2017. Check this page regularly, as additional programs will be added over the course of the spring and summer and later this year as information becomes available. Click here to read the series introduction.
Please note that dates listed on this schedule are subject to change.