Freshkills Park Blog

Utopias, art and Freshkills Park at Snug Harbor

Currently on view at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor in Staten Island is Hope-A-Holic, a group exhibition of 21 artists exploring Utopian ideas in contemporary work. The show features installation, drawing, painting, video, performance and interactive works.

The Freshkills Park team will take part in a program in conjunction with Hope-A-Holic called Trash to Treasure, this Tuesday, February 23rd at 6pm. Trash to Treasure will feature a presentation about the Freshkills Park project, including a history of the site, details about the park’s master plan and our current projects and programs. This presentation will be followed by a workshop given by the Staten Island Compost Project outlining the simple steps involved in composting at home.

Trash to Treasure
Tuesday, February 23rd, 6pm
FREE | to RSVP, please email or call (718) 425-3557.

Hope-A-Holic will run until April 4th. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and students and free for kids 12 and under.

February 22, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , | Leave a comment

City as garbage as City

An inverse representation of the Statue of Liberty, from Terreform's proposal.

A design proposal that seemed almost inevitable: New York-based architects Terreform propose the employment of automated robots in reusing garbage sited within the Fresh Kills Landfill to construct buildings and islands.  The robots, refashioned from existing industrial equipment, would compact garbage into stackable units and be assembled like building blocks.

Wall-E, anyone?  The firm’s proposal, Rapid Re(f)use, bears uncanny similarity to the animated robot’s activities, of course; their cleverness is really rendering the film’s scenario in real world architectural terms to reflect meaningfully on the relationship between the city and its waste.  Terreform posits that the entire volume of the Fresh Kills Landfill, in addition to waste newly generated and collected, could be used to construct seven landmasses equivalent in size to Manhattan island.  A provocative idea, for sure, and fodder for further academic discourse.

To be clear, though, we’re sticking to the park project.

(via Inhabitat)

February 1, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zero Waste educational materials

The No Impact Project was started by Colin Beavan, also known as No Impact Man, to see if his family could live a zero-waste lifestyle for one year in New York City.  Through environmental education, the No Impact Project aims to empower others to reduce their impact on the environment (the No Impact Experiment, a “one-week carbon cleanse,” is featured in the video).  Beavan’s organization has developed The Environmental Education Curriculum for Middle and High School Teachers, a set of five lesson plans available for free online, focused on the following topics: Consumption, Energy, Food, Transportation and Water.

(via Treehugger)

January 15, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | 2 Comments

Upcoming recycling and composting events

The post-holiday season can result in a lot of waste.  Groups around New York City are offering a host of upcoming recycling and composting events to ensure that not everything simply ends up in a landfill.

  • Parks all over the five boroughs will be participating in MulchFest this weekend, allowing you to bring your Christmas tree to a designated location to be chipped into mulch.  You can also take away free mulch being offered by the city.  10am-2pm, Saturday and Sunday.  The Department of Sanitation will also be offering curbside pickup of trees until January 15th.
  • The Lower East Side Ecology Center (LESEC) is offering several E-waste recycling points in Manhattan and Brooklyn, this weekend and next, where you can dispose of unwanted or broken electronic devices.
  • LESEC and the NYC Compost Project are hosting a number of worm composting workshops, for adults and for kids.  Registration in required and there is a fee of $5 per person.

January 8, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Garbage Dreams

A new documentary called Garbage Dreams will be screening at Manhattan’s IFC Center for one week starting today, January 6th.  The film follows three teenage boys who grow up in a “garbage village” on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, where residents are referred to as Zaballeen, Arabic for “garbage people.”  For years, the city of Cairo has relied on Zaballeen to collect municipal garbage.

These entrepreneurial garbage workers recycle 80% of the garbage they collect, creating what is arguably the world’s most efficient waste disposal system.

The director, Mai Iskander, will be present (and, we imagine, will answer questions) tonight through Sunday at the 6:30pm shows.

January 6, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Revisiting the disposable coffee cup

58 billion non-recyclable coffee cups are used and thrown away each year.  BetaCup aims to fund a design contest geared toward reducing or eliminating that waste.  Ideas and donations for sustainable alternatives are accepted.

December 17, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , | Leave a comment

Matching recyclables producers and collectors

e-cycler connects people who want to collect recyclables for cash with people who need recyclables picked up, often in areas that lack municipal curbside recycling service.  Providers of recyclables can request a 40% cut of the collector’s profit or can allow collectors to receive the full rebate at recycling centers (though e-cycler takes a small cut, regardless).  The service allows users who have or anticipate generation of recyclable material to search by state for collectors of that material; it also allows collectors to search by state or pick-up radius.

(via Treehugger)

December 14, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , | Leave a comment

This Sunday is America Recycles Day

In honor of America Recycles Day this Sunday, Brokelyn offers a Brooklynite’s guide to responsibly ridding yourself of stuff–through swaps, donations and recycling.  Lots of New York City-wide non-landfill options in the other boroughs here, too; this is a rich, comprehensive resource.  Some highlights and additions:

  • The NYC Stuff Exchange, run by the NYC Department of Sanitation, offers a borough-by-borough directory of places where you can buy and sell used or second-hand items, large and small; they also have a list of other sites you can use to sell or exchange specific types of items.
  • Materials for the Arts collects surplus or used material from a variety of commercial and non-profit organizations for free distribution to non-profit arts groups and schools.
  • The Department of Sanitation offers a list of electronic recyclers and dismantlers that do business in New York State.  The Lower East Side Ecology Center also e-cycling drop-off days with some frequency.
  • You can  drop off up to four car tires at any nearby NYC Department of Sanitation garage between 8 am and 4 pm, Monday through Saturday.
  • Clothes and textiles can be donated, to Goodwill or Salvation Army, for example, but they can also be recycled.  The Council on the Environment of New York City, for one, hosts clothing and textile recycling events, including this Saturday, the 14th, from 8am-4pm at the Staten Island Mall.

November 13, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Zero waste strategies are catching on

Waste sorting in Nantucket, a model for zero-waste, has reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill to 8%, compared with 66% in Massachusetts as a whole.  The city has accomplished this through diligent sorting, an expansion of mandated recycling, industrial composting and a community swap shop.

Waste sorting in Nantucket, a model for zero waste, has reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill to 8%, compared with 66% in Massachusetts as a whole. The island has accomplished this through diligent sorting, an expansion of mandated recycling, industrial composting and a community swap shop.

The New York Times surveys the growth of “zero waste” strategies in the US among private companies, institutions and entire municipalities.  “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” are really coming of age: biodegradable utensils, large-scale composting and citywide, warehouse-like free swap shops.  And it’s not just hippies and treehuggers participating anymore.

Though born of idealism, the zero-waste philosophy is now propelled by sobering realities, like the growing difficulty of securing permits for new landfills and an awareness that organic decay in landfills releases methane that helps warm the earth’s atmosphere.

The municipal programs are the most inspiring.  The story notes that Nantucket only sends 8% of its waste to landfills now–its landfill is actually shrinking, thanks to an entity that searches the landfill for materials it can resell like sand and aluminum.  (The slide show about Nantucket is really worth checking out).

While not as comprehensive, it’s still impressive that San Francisco has successfully outlawed landfill-bound disposal of food waste.  Ottawa has also recently joined that cause.

October 26, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , | Leave a comment

Recycling, composting and worms, this Saturday

The Council on the Environment of New York City and the Staten Island Compost Project will be co-hosting a recycling and home composting workshop this Saturday afternoon at the St. George Library on Staten Island.  Tin can tricks and live worm bins, fun for all ages.  October 24th, 1-3pm, 5 Central Avenue, Staten Island, just a block from the ferry terminal.

October 23, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment