In 2015 as part of One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city’s ambitious goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030. Every week, the average New Yorker throws out nearly 15 pounds of waste at home and another nine pounds of waste at work and in commercial establishments. Altogether, in New York City this adds up to more than three million tons of residential waste and three million tons of commercial waste generated per year. To achieve its zero waste goals, the city must take fresh approaches to waste reduction, materials reuse, and recycling. These include: developing a citywide organics collection program, reducing the use of plastic bags and other non-recyclable waste, and working with schools and public housing developments.

The city’s zero waste initiatives build upon the nearly-completed 2006 Solid Waste Management Plan, a fair, five-borough plan to handle New York City’s waste and offer flexibility and resiliency in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency. The SWMP mandates a switch from long-haul trucking to a system of marine and rail transfer stations spread throughout the five boroughs. Full implementation of the plan is anticipated to reduce the City’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by 34,000 tons and annual truck travel by 60 million miles.

To kick off Getting to Zero, Open House New York’s year-long series on the future of New York City’s waste system, NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia will outline the steps the City has already taken to achieve these goals, the opportunities and challenges we will face over the next few years, and innovative practices that have the potential to transform the waste management industry. Following the Commissioner’s talk, she will be joined by Kate Ascher, partner at Buro Happold and author of The Works: Anatomy of a City and other popular books about urban infrastructure for a discussion about New York’s waste system.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

7:00 – 8:30 PM
(Doors Open at 6:30 PM)

SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street, Manhattan