Have a Superbowl Party as Green as the Big Game

This year’s Super Bowl is being touted as the “greenest ever”.  Out-green the Meadowlands with these tips for your own Super Bowl party!
 

Greenmarket Food Scrap Collection Surpasses 2 Million Pound Mark

Since 2011, GrowNYC has worked to expand food scrap collections at Greenmarket. In partnership with the NYC Department of Sanitation, the program has grown to 30 markets, averaging 100,000 pounds a month diverted from disposal and used locally for renewable energy or fertile compost for urban farms, gardens and more.

To date more than 2 million pounds of food scraps have been dropped at market, which would fill enough of our collection boxes to create a stack taller than Mount Everest! But the impact is even greater: every apple core deposited in a compost bin has been a vote for increased composting citywide, which has come to fruition with the Department of Sanitation’s new Organics Collection Program. Keep on composting!

Read the complete press release here.

NYC Residential Organics Collection is Growing!

Morningside Gardens Composts

(Residents at the Morningside Gardens cooperative celebrate their new compost program)

Organics make up almost 30% of NYC's residential and institutional waste stream. This includes yard waste, food scraps, compostable paper (tissues, napkins, soiled paper, paper plates, etc.), and other materials suitable for industrial-scale composting.

By collecting this material, NYC can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and incinerators, reducing expensive export costs and greenhouse gas emissions, all while generating a valuable material that can be used as fertilizer in NYC parks and gardens.

In May of 2013, the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) began a bold, new initiative to provide curbside collection of organics. The Program started in Westerleigh, Staten Island and this fall has expanded to include communities in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island, with further expansion in the spring of 2014.        

Wondering how you can participate? 

The City provided bins and participation instructions to buildings with 1-9 units included in the pilot areas. DSNY is also recruiting large apartment buildings—on the west side of Manhattan, in parts of Brooklyn, and on Staten Island—to participate in the program. GrowNYC is assisting with this effort, and we can help your building with the signup process, and to prepare your tenants and staff to participate. 

Take Morningside Gardens, who joined the DSNY Organics Collection Program in June, for example. Prior to the program’s implementation, many of the residents dropped off food scraps at GrownNYC’s Columbia Greenmarket and a group of residents formed a Compost Club.  GrowNYC worked with club members, property management, and the co-op board to help the 980-unit complex create a plan to establish organics collection to be serviced by DSNY.  GrowNYC provided hands-on assistance in creating a suite of educational materials and training to ensure that staff and residents were well-informed about the program, which included mailers detailing the program, attendance at a series of public meetings, and signage in every trash room.

With the addition of this initiative, Morningside Gardens now diverts 39% of all waste from landfills through recycling and composting, compared to an average diversion rate of 14% for their community district as a whole.  Overall improvement of waste separation and storage has also reduced the presence of rats on the property. To highlight the success of the program at Morningside Gardens, Mayor Bloomberg chose the site as the location to announce the expansion of the DSNY Organics Collection Program and to launch the “Recycle Everything” advertising campaign in July of 2013.

Does your apartment building want to take recycling to the next level? 

Get more information on Organics Collection in Large Residential Buildings and contact GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education to get started. 

 

 

A Day in the Life: Recycling Champions Coordinator Julia Goldstein

GrowNYC's School Recycling Champions program works with schools in all five boroughs to help them achieve and exceed the NYC recycling standards. They work to inform and empower the key participants in a school by providing hands-on education through materials, workshops, assemblies, and on-site demonstrations.

Recycling Champions has five outreach coordinators, each of whom works in a particular borough. Below, Manhattan Outreach Coordinator Julia Goldstein takes us through a typical day in her life as a Recycling Champion.

What I love about being a Recycling Champions coordinator is how much creativity and dedication the principals, teachers, custodians, kitchen staff, recycling coordinators, parents, and above all the students, all over the city bring to making their school environment more sustainable.

Let me give you some examples from a typical day:

The first stop of the day is my office, where I pick up materials for workshops I’m doing on the new Organics Food Scraps Collection program at Chelsea Prep (281 9th Avenue in Chelsea). I make sure to grab a coffee from Laughing Man on the way to the C train.

In the 2013-2014 school year, over 300 schools in Staten Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn are participating in the Organics Collection Program, a joint initiative between the NYC Departments of Education and Sanitation. The goal is to collect the organic material from school cafeterias and kitchens to reduce the waste NYC sends to landfills. Organic Food Scraps Collection includes: meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruit, grains, baked goods and all soiled food service paper products.

I chat with the school’s Fireman, Ed Pierre, who has been working hard to get the new Organics signs up in the cafeteria

On Saturday I’ll go to another workshop at Chelsea Prep that includes parents, and we’ll use this, a trivia game created by RCP’s Thaddeus Copeland. The Trivia Game is one of several tools we use to engage the students in participatory learning. A student spins the wheel and depending on which icon they land on, they are asked a recycling-related trivia question

I hop back on the C to 110th Street to my second stop: Wadleigh Secondary School for the Visual & Performing Arts (215 W 114th Street in Morningside Heights).

I touch base with Al Spechar, the Custodial Engineer, who shows me a new system he is trying for separating the curbside recycling – he has painted green lines around where the paper recycling goes, and hung a mixed paper and cardboard recycling decal. Great idea! It makes it easier for the Sanitation workers if it’s always in the same place, and it makes it easy to check to make sure each type of recycling has been put out.

I jump back on the C train to 86th Street and go on to my next stop: Louis D. Brandeis High School (145 W 84 Street in the Upper West Side).  I check in with Helena Fisher, the SchoolFood Manager , to see how the Food Scraps Toter bins are working for them. We talk about how frequently they need new bags – the students are catching on to the Food Scraps Organics program faster than we had hoped!

I board the cross town bus and grab a seat and work on email. I spend so much time on public transportation it feels like my second office.

My next stop: Robert F. Wagner Middle School (220 E 76th Street in the Upper East Side). I meet with the 6th grade cafeteria recycling monitors, who make the fantastic recycling station work every day. They bring both knowledge and tact to the job of reminding their peers of the recycling rules.

I take the 4/5 back downtown to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall for my final stop of the day: Murry Bergtraum High School (411 Pearl Street in the Financial District). The sustainability coordinator, Bob Menning, walks with me through the school. Bob takes his role seriously and his energetic and talented Green Team students, like Elena Tsoy, bring creative flair to the task -- they’ve hung signs throughout the cafeteria and school reminding classmates and faculty/staff of best recycling practices.

That’s my last visit and all that’s left is to convince my fellow rush-hour passengers on the 4/5 train to make room for me and my Santa-sized bag. To their credit, being New Yorkers, they hardly give it a second glance.

Big Apple Crunch Takes New York!

The Big Apple Crunch is an attempt to set the world record for the "Most Participants in an Apple-Crunching Event." This event will take place on FOOD DAY - October 24, 2013. New Yorkers can participate by finding a crunch near you: at any of GrowNYC's Greenmarket Farmers' Markets or another location near you or by hosting a crunch yourself! We want it to be the crunch heard 'round the world!

Please pledge to take a bite with us at 12pm or at any time during the day that works for you. RecordSetter.com - a New York City based organization tracking new world records - will be tracking our progress towards having the "Most Participants in an Apple-Crunching Event!"

Register your team at bigapplecrunch.com

GrowNYC Supports City Efforts to "RECYCLE EVERYTHING"

GrowNYC is proud to support Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership in expanding recycling in NYC with the launch of "Recycle Everything."

In 2006, the City created GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education to assist their ambitious goals to divert more waste from disposal. Whether promoting textile, e-waste, and increased plastics recycling or working with the Department of Sanitation to establish organics recycling programs like those happening at Morningside Gardens (where this week’s press conference took place), GrowNYC is thrilled to be a component of the City’s efforts. The "Recycle Everything" ad campaign launched and the expansion of the City’s organic food waste recycling program shows how far New York has come in managing the 11,000 tons of waste generated every day. Together, these initiatives will help double our recycling rate by 2017 and reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills.

GrowNYC was proud to help establish the Morningside Heights organics collection and will promote the City’s Recycle Everything campaign in its education outreach across the five boroughs.

New York News

Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools


GrowNYC formed a partnership with Wagner Middle School in Manhattan called Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools, funded by NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin. Under one roof, we are providing support from five GrowNYC programs: Learn It Grow It Eat It, Grow to Learn School Gardens, Greenmarket Youth Education, Recycling Champions and Environmental Education. For an entire year, GrowNYC staff is educating young people about how to lead lives that improve their personal health and that of the environment around them; so that eating, growing, learning and going green become second nature.

On the recycling front, we recently helped Wagner launch a school-wide cafeteria recycling program – 1,200 students in grades 6-8 sorted everything from trays to milk cartons, placing them in their proper containers with help from dozens of student volunteers and Green Team members. 1,200 students recycling milk cartons for one year will save 31 trees!

To keep it fun, grades are competing to see who can reduce their overall waste – on a weekly basis, the amount of waste will be calculated and the winning grade announced on Fridays. At the end of every month, the grade that has reduced waste and recycled the most will receive special “Out-Lunch” privileges. Wagner has averaged a daily reduction of 9 bags of garbage or 17%, while generating an extra bag of recyclables.

The contest, designed by the Green Team, was the culmination of an outreach campaign they undertook to educate their classmates. Working with their advisor, teacher and sustainability coordinator Jessica Gordon, students created posters, morning announcements, and a PowerPoint. The success of the program could not have been possible without the support and help of Wagner’s administration and staff.

Come see GrowNYC at the 2013 Farm to City Expo

2013 Farm to City Expo
Monday, March 4, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 W. 34th St

Attend panels on local purchasing and food infrastructure, followed by networking opportunities, and learn about Greenmarket Co. from GrowNYC executive director Marcel Van Ooyen, on a panel devoted to exploring regional wholesale infrastructure (12:20-1:10 p.m.). Enjoy all day access to over 40 New York farms and food companies at the Pride of New York MarketPlace.

Register by February 28 using this link: http://bit.ly/WP1rgI

View the flyer:

Grains Come into Focus at Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Winter Conference

It was a “Wheat and Greet” that set the tone for the weekend as attendees arrived on a Friday night late last month for NOFA-NY’s annual Winter Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York. Local breads, pastas, beer, and spirits flowed freely as tasters chatted with the growers and processors who created them. Standout products included Flour City’s emmer fusilli and Kelso Brewery’s Rauchbier made with a smoked triticale malt, both of which consistently surprised people with outstanding flavors not normally associated with beer and pasta. To the question most heard throughout the night — “Where can I buy this?” — suppliers could happily point people to the many stores now stocking their products. Not bad for a region that just a few years ago did not have much in the way of food-quality grain.

On Saturday, Greenmarket and the Organic Growers’ Research and Information-Sharing Network, hosted a workshop on grain processing where presenters shared their products and experiences with a crowd of current or aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to launch their own thriving business in the delicious world of grains – be it growing, malting, milling, baking, or distilling, to name just a few. Greenmarket and OGRIN debuted their recently completed technical assistance video: A local Grain Renaissance in the Northeast.

Each year, the conference features a “grains track” with workshops covering topics like how to set up a malting facility to work with the many new regional distilleries; how to grow and mill food-grade grains, and new research on crop yields and disease resistance among the many grain varieties in the region.

While there is still much to be done, the NOFA-NY conference showed that the links in the supply chain are strengthening, new infrastructure is being built, and the wonderful symbiosis from farmer, to grain processor, to consumer continues to grow.

If you missed the conference, fear not! Greenmarket and the Organic Growers’ Research and Information-Sharing Network host a Shortcourse on Grain Processing in the Northeast on March 2 at Glynwood in Cold Spring, NY. Contact Elizabeth Dyck at OGRIN (edyck@ogrin.org) to register.

 

Greenmarket Schedule Updates (due to Winter Storm Nemo)

Due to Winter Storm Nemo, some Greenmarkets and services provided at those Greenmarkets, including compost and textile collection, will have schedule changes this weekend. We will provide updated information at this blog post.

Greenmarket Weekend Updates

Sunday Greenmarkets are OPEN and FULL, come visit your farmers and stock up for the week! See below for compost and textile collection information.

Compost and Textile Collections Schedule for Saturday 2/9 and Sunday 2/10

BOROUGH GREENMARKET ACCEPTING TEXTILES? ACCEPTING FOOD SCRAPS?
SATURDAY GREENMARKETS
Manhattan Tribeca NO NO
Manhattan Abingdon Square NO NO
Manhattan Union Square NO Hosted by the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Click here for updates.
Manhattan Tucker Square NO NO
Manhattan 82nd Street NO NO
Manhattan Inwood NO YES – 8am-12pm
Brooklyn Grand Army Plaza NO NO
Brooklyn McCarren Park NO NO
Brooklyn Ft. Greene NO NO
Brooklyn Brooklyn Borough Hall NO NO
SUNDAY GREENMARKETS
Manhattan Tompkins Square Park YES – 8am-4pm NO
Manhattan 79th Street NO NO
Manhattan Columbia YES – 8am-3pm NO
Queens Jackson Heights YES – 8am-2pm Hosted by BIG!Compost. Click here for updates.
Brooklyn Carroll Gardens YES – 8am-2:30pm NO
Brooklyn Cortelyou YES – 8am-2:30pm NO

 

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