Taking a cue from the Zero Waste Design Guidelines, the NYC Departments of Sanitation and Transportation issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for “creative solutions for containerized refuse and recycling.” The RFEI is as an important step towards designing the built environment to meet the city’s zero waste goals and address the significant environmental and quality-of-life impacts of collection on New York City’s streets. We encourage DOT and DSNY to initiate a public dialogue around the proposed solutions to raise awareness and build community support for piloting a range of strategies in neighborhoods across the City. See our three proposed solutions below.
Caddy System for Residential Organics Drop-off
A caddy system solves the problems of storing and managing food waste inside buildings in dense urban neighborhoods: Residents keep caddies on the countertop in their kitchens. When full, residents deposit the entire caddy in a custom trailer parked on their block, and retrieve a clean empty caddy. Residents register to receive an access code which they use to access the trailer. Full trailers are brought to a central facility where caddies are automatically removed, emptied, cleaned and restocked, and food scraps are consolidated for processing. More details here.
Parklet Shared Waste Station
Many city blocks have commercial businesses on the ground floor and 3-4 stories of residences above, with no space in the building to store waste, resulting in sidewalks cluttered with garbage, no provision for organic waste collection, and illegal dumping in litter baskets. This modular enclosure provides a new amenity in the parking lane, while clearing sidewalk space for cafes and other public uses. Residents deposit bags into secured doors on the sidewalk side of the waste station where material is sealed inside 1 and 2 cubic yard containers until sanitation workers remove them from the street side for emptying. More details here.
El Space Recycle House
Shared facilities with sealed compactors and other volume reduction equipment are located in the publicly owned spaces under elevated structures. Benefits include improved service, reduced impacts of collection, and adds recycling and waste management to DOT’s el-space kit of parts. More details here.