Waste management is one of the most important and complex challenges that NYCHA faces. The NYCHA 2.0 Waste Management Plan, released in April 2019, presents NYCHA’s comprehensive approach to make buildings and grounds visibly clean and free of pests by 2025. The Plan’s goals are guided by the following vision for a clean NYCHA:
To comply with the City’s recycling law, NYCHA, in partnership with DSNY, rolled-out metal, glass, plastic and paper recycling bins and designated recycling areas available to all NYCHA residents. The recycling effort began at five NYCHA developments in spring 2015, followed by a rollout to all other NYCHA’s developments by the end of 2016. In July 2019, NYCHA partnered with DSNY and GrowNYC to help implement a holistic approach to improve waste management at 12 NYCHA developments; where residents and development staff received hands-on training on recycling information.
This effort is helping NYCHA to build a robust recycling program for residents. As outlined in the NYCHA Waste Management Plan, NYCHA is working to boost recycling rates across its portfolio by making recycling more convenient for residents. Additionally, NYCHA is addressing bulk-waste recycling at select developments by implementing a Mattress Recycling program and providing the infrastructure for improved cardboard recycling.
A key initiative of the NYCHA 2.0 Waste Management Plan is to improve waste management infrastructure and implement new strategies that affect the way waste is disposed to achieve a cleaner environment for NYCHA residents. NYCHA will implement various upgrades to waste management infrastructure including: in-sink food waste disposers to reduce organic waste from household waste streams, eliminate food sources for pests and divert organic materials from landfills; enlarged ground-floor trash chute doors that accommodate larger trash bags; interior compactor installations to replace vital infrastructure that has reached its end of life; a mattress recycling program to remove voluminous and bulky mattresses from NYCHA grounds and recycle its components; and a pneumatic waste collection system to provide residents with convenient disposal access for waste and recycling. NYCHA also plans to redesign the waste yards at all developments to transform these facilities, replace end of life equipment, maintain a focus on sustainability and innovation, and improve the quality of life for residents while increasing the ability of staff to manage waste.
Resident and stakeholder engagement is crucial to the success of the Sustainability Agenda, and to improve the way waste is managed throughout NYCHA. NYCHA will ensure that resident and stakeholder needs and priorities are integrated into future program design, implementation and assessment for an holistic approach to waste management to achieve the best possible outcome for both NYCHA and it’s residents.