In May, the Department of Sanitation
named Ron Gonen Deputy Commissioner
for Recycling and Sustainability.
Mr. Gonen is the founder of RECYCLEBANK
(www.recyclebank.org), an interactive
website that promotes serious
recycling. With his help, the Department
of Sanitation will seek to substantially improve
its rate of recycling. Not only will
this help the environment, it also reduces
the cost of disposal of garbage that
cannot be recycled. Plans are also afoot
to expand the list of recyclable items that
the Department will collect. For a wealth
of information on New York City recycling go
At CNYC's 32nd annual Housing Conference
on Sunday, November 11th Eve Martinez
of the NYC Department of Sanitation will
present a midday class on Improving Recycling.
Consult the Conference brochure inserted
opposite page 10 of this publication.
But we can't rely on the City to recycle
everything for us. Serious recyclers can turn
to a growing number of organization that
facilitate the reuse or recycling of various
everyday items. Your cooperative or condominium
can reach out to these groups to
coordinate collection events at your building.
Here are some interesting options.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS (www.dressforsuccess.org/NewYork) is an international
not-for-profit organization focused on
women and CAREER GEAR (www.careergear.
org) is a national non-profit organization
directed toward men. Both promote the
economic independence of disadvantaged
individuals by providing professional attire,
a network of support and the career development
tools to help them succeed in work
and in life. Clothing, shoes, brief cases,
handbags suitable for wear in the workplace
can be donated to these organizations.
WEARABLE COLLECTIONS (www.
wearablecollections.com) accepts a wide
range of textiles, clothing, shoes and handbags
(but no carpeting). They will perform
the triage, seeing that items that can still be
worn are make their way to those who need
them, and ensuring the use of textiles as
rags, quilting materials, etc. Wearable Collections
will provide bins for your building
and will schedule pickups.
It has come to the attention of the
City Council Sanitation Committee that
a substantial amount of recyclable materials
go missing from regular Department
of Sanitation recycling collections,
because they are removed by entities
other than the Department of Sanitation.
In some cases, buildings or complexes
enter into agreements with private
carters to remove some or all of their
recyclable materials. But other cases,
'poachers' take large items designated
for city collection and sell the components
for their own gain.
Legislation was introduced in June
to stop 'poaching' activities and to regulate
recycling pickups by private carting
companies. CNYC testified against the
harshness of some of the measures proposed.
We pointed out that storage of
recyclable materials is often a problem
in buildings or complexes where residents
and staff are committed to maximize
recycling – a problem that is compounded
in warmer months when odors
combine with the unsightliness of piles
of bags of recycling awaiting pick-up.
There are instances of cooperatives
and condominiums remedy this problem
by hiring private companies to supplement
the City collections. They make the
decision that the additional cost incurred
is justified by the improved appearance of
their buildings and grounds. And they followed
proper procedures, which include
obtaining authorization from the City to
use the supplemental service.
CNYC also protested the complex
procedures being proposed for private
carters, pointing out that this would add
to the cost of their services.
As a result CNYC has been asked
to help find reasonable solutions to the
problems cited. We, in turn, need your
help. Please complete the brief questionnaire
below and return it to CNYC by
fax (212 580-7801) or by e-mail to Rothman@
CNYC.coop to help get a clearer
picture of the recycling needs in our City,
as we seek ways to meet these needs:
Please feel free to include further suggestions,