December 2008

NYC Recycling Updates from the
Office of Recycling Outreach and Education

A program of GrowNYC
In this issue:
1. Holiday Planning for the Planet
2. Recycle Your Holiday Tree
3.Electronics Recycling Update
4. Plastics Recycling Update
5. Harlem Co-op Goes Green by Recycling Old Clothes
6. OROE to Expand Clothing & Textile Recycling Collections
*Holiday Planning for the Planet* December brings festivity and good cheer to us all and it is the perfect time to bring the recycling message to your family and friends.

Sending cards? Try e-cards or look for greetings made with recycled content (the more post-consumer content, the better). Include a note with your cards that they can be donated for reuse by sending to St. Judes Ranch for Children, where they will be repurposed into greetings for 2009.

Purchasing gifts? Choose minimally packaged items made with recycled content and give items that will be treasured, not thrown out before the next holiday season. Remember to wrap it recyclable by using paper gift wrap or a nice paper gift bag. A convenient reusable bag is the gift wrap that keeps on giving. You can also add a please recycle note to remind the lucky receiver to recycle or reuse.
Preparing a holiday meal? Look for items in recyclable packaging and buy minimally- or non-packaged fresh produce, like that from Greenmarket. Compost your vegetable trimmings if you can. Prevent waste by making small changes such as using recyclable aluminum foil rather than plastic wrap for food storage. Set up a simple recycling system for guests and clean-up will be easy as apple pie.

[Pictured: Bottle Tree of used bottles, recycled wood and energy efficient lights by Brooklyn artist Matthew Myers]
For more tips on keeping your holidays green and merry, visit NYCWasteLess.
From all of us at OROE and GrowNYC, we wish you a happy holiday season and encourage you to recycle during the holidays and carry the message of recycling into the New Year. Happy Holidays!

Recycle Your Tree! If youre thinking of putting up a tree for the holidays, plan to chip in at MulchFest! Trees (cleaned of stands, tinsel and ornaments) will be collected for recycling into beneficial mulch. Bring your own bag to select sites and take home mulch for your yard, garden or street tree. For information on drop-off sites and free mulch visit the MulchFest website.
Saturday, January 10 and
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Click for Citywide locations
Department of Sanitation Tree Pick-Ups
If you cant make it to MulchFest, DSNY will conduct Christmas tree collection from Monday, January 5, 2009 through Friday, January 16. Simply place your tree on the curb free of ornaments, stands and
plastic bags.

Green Screens a Success

Thanks to all who spread the word, attended and especially to the volunteers who braved the wind, rain and cold to attend the Green Screens two-day, five-borough electronics recycling event. 359,000 pounds of e-waste were collected for recycling on November 15th and 16th. For more information read the press release.

Next Electronics
Recycling Collection:

Sunday, January 4th, 10am - 4pm
Union Square Park, North Plaza
(17th Street & Broadway)

Sponsored by the Lower East Side Ecology Center

For more info visit
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New Program for Recycling Brita Filters and Other #5 Plastics

Preserve, a recycled products company that makes toothbrushes, colanders and more has announced new partnerships that will help keep more plastics out of the landfill. Beginning on or around January 5, 2009, Brita water pitcher filters and CLEAN plastic items stamped with a #5, such as yogurt cups, can be mailed to Preserve or dropped off at participating Whole Foods Markets, so start saving those plastics! For more information visit the Preserve Gimme 5 website.

[image courtesy of Preserve Gimme5]

Harlem Co-Op Collects Tons with In-Building Textile Recycling Program
When Sharon Ritchie joined Board of the Harlem Renaissance, one of her missions was to help green this seven-year old building. After working with OROE to revamp and revive the buildings recycling program for glass, metal, plastic and paper and swapping out traditional cleaning supplies for eco- and human- friendly ones, the Board decided to set up a recycling program for clothing and other textiles.

OROE introduced the Renaissance
to Wearable Collections, a textile recycling company helping to reduce NYCs waste while giving back to charitable organizations. A storage closet in the buildings laundry room was converted into the textiles recycling area using bins and signs provided by Wearable Collections. Flyers advertising the new resource were also posted on the lobbys bulletin board, in the elevators and in the refuse room on each floor.

The program was an immediate success and by far the most popular of the buildings greening initiatives. In just a
few months the building has collected more than 4.5 tons of material. Contributions continue steadily and the building has since converted to larger bins stored in the basement to accommodate the tenants enthusiastic participation.

Want to set up a collect
ion in your building? Contact us!


image courtesy of Wearable Collections

OROE to Expand Weekly Textiles Collection Sites
in 2009

Since June 2007 OROE has worked to target the 6% of NYCs residential waste that consists of textiles such as clothing and household linens. With just two locations we have kept more than 240,000 pounds of material out of the landfill.

With your support we will collect even more at our expanded sites and new collection days!
For more information visit

Union Square Greenmarket Mondays 8am-6pm
(SW section of the park)

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, Brooklyn Saturdays 8am-4pm
(NW Entrance of Prospect Park)


Union Square Greenmarket - Saturdays (begins January 3) 8am-6pm
(West side of the Park)

Tompkins Square Greenmarket - Sundays (begins January 4) 8am-4pm
(East 7th St. & Ave A)

97th Street Greenmarket
- Fridays (begins January 9) 8am-2pm
( 97th St. & Columbus Ave)


Inwood Greenmarket - Saturday, January 10 only, 8am-2pm
(Isham St. b/t Seaman & Cooper)
GrowNYC (GrowNYC)
is a hands-on non-profit that has been improving New York Citys environment for over thirty years. GrowNYCs dedicated staff green our neighborhoods, create the environmental leaders of the future, reinvigorate New Yorkers understanding of, and participation in, NYCs recycling program, and run the largest farmers market program in the country. For more information or to make a tax-deductable donation:
works to improve the Citys recycling rate by educating residents about recycling and waste prevention, and working with landlords to make sure building recycling programs are adequate. Our free services include apartment building recycling audits, trainings for tenants and supers, community events centered on education and special collection programs for textiles, electronics, and compost.

Our five borough-wide coordinators
work on a community-by-community basis to identify and address the specific challenges to recycling within a Community District. OROEs current intensive efforts target one-quarter of New York Citys residents in the neighborhoods of Washington Heights, Inwood, East Harlem, Central Harlem and Manhattan Public Housing; Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick; Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, Corona, Jamaica; South Bronx; and all of Staten Island. For more information visit or call 212-788-7964.

Break bread with GrowNYC Grains and your fellow home bakers!

  • Food Access & Agriculture

    Our network of Greenmarket farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Conservation

    We blanket the five boroughs with resources like textile and food scrap collection, Stop 'N' Swaps, and free recycling trainings to make waste reduction easy for all.

  • Green Space

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.