The Future of Waste
in New York

Chelsea, Manhattan
February 21 / 7:00 PM
Click here for a recap

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

Panorama Challenge
Flushing Meadows, Queens
March 4 / 6:00 PM

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

Treasure in the Trash
at the M11 Garage

East Harlem, Manhattan
March 26 / 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM
Click here for a recap

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

Goodwill NYNJ + Big Reuse
Astoria, Queens
April 12 / 10:00 AM
Click here for a recap

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

Materials for the Arts
Long Island City, Queens
April 19 / 6:00 PM
Click here for a recap

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

New York City’s
Dis-Contents: A History of Waste Systems

Chelsea, Manhattan
May 1 / 7:00 PM

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

Hamilton Avenue Marine Transfer Station
Gowanus, Brooklyn
May 23 / 7:00 PM

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

Covanta Union County Resource Recovery Facility
Rahway, New Jersey
May 31 / 9:30 AM
(Bus transportation included)

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

Dead Horse Bay
Marine Park, Brooklyn
June 9 / 12:45 PM

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 Central Repair Shop
Maspeth, Queens
June 14 / 7:00 PM

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. Read more

Waste Waterways
Boat Tour

New York Harbor
June 21 / 6:30 PM
Click here to view highlights

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

Freshkills Park
Fresh Kills, Staten Island
June 23 / 10:00 AM & 12:30 PM
(Bus transportation included)

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. Read more

Manhattan 1/2/5 Garage & Salt Shed
Tribeca, Manhattan
July 11 / 7:00 PM

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. Read more

Sims Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
July 18 / 6:30 PM

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. Read more

Newtown Creek
Boat Tour

Brooklyn & Queens
August 16 / 5:00 PM & 7:00 PM

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. Read more

Fountain Avenue Landfill
East New York, Brooklyn
July 29 / 10:30 AM
October 28 / 10:30 AM

Many New Yorkers recall the Fountain Avenue landfill as a crater-like pit where workmen deposited countless trucks-full of foul-smelling debris to the delight of clouds of gulls. Today, while it is not yet open to the public, the site along the Brooklyn-Queens border is being reclaimed for future use as a park. Read more

Zero Waste Design Guidelines
Chelsea, Manhattan
December 4 / 7:00 PM
Register Today

Getting to Zero concludes with a special presentation and panel discussion of the Zero Waste Design Guidelines, a new resource to help designers, developers, and building operators transform buildings to reduce the amount of waste generated, reconceive of waste as a resource, improve our streets, and help the city reach its zero waste goal. Read more


2017 Programs

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: Dates and times below are subject to change. Please check back regularly for updated information.