Community in Action Challenge: Share With Others

Take the pledge!

It's one of the first things we learn as kids: how to share. But this practice usually fades as we become adults. Our houses become filled with our own “stuff.” Garages, attics, basements, and closets transform into cluttered warehouses. When we need something, whether it’s a chainsaw or a roasting rack, our first thought is to go out and buy it. But why get it new when our neighbor down the street has one we can borrow?  

Here are your options for the "Share With Others" challenge:

INDIVIDUAL Challenge: Offer to Share a Tool, Gadget, or Skill
What do you own that others in your neighborhood might love to borrow? A stand mixer? A circular saw? Do you have a skill you’re willing to share? From hemming pants to cooking the best samosas in town, we bet you know how to do something that others don’t!

GROUP Challenge: Organize a Community Swap
These days, people are getting together to swap everything from books, clothes, and toys to seeds, crops, and even soups. Community swaps are a fun and cooperative way to share and trade goods. New Dream has videos and step-by-steps to help you get started! 

EXTRA Challenge: Start a “Things” Library
Do you live in a big gardening or DIY community, or one with lots of young kids? Consider starting a tool, seed, or toy lending library. Like to bike? Start a community bike sharing program, or a project to fix up used bikes for residents in need. Wish you had access to a larger variety of kitchen gadgets? Start a kitchen library! The possibilities are endless.

2017 DSNY Waste Characterization Study

From DSNY's April 3rd, 2018 press release

What’s in the Trash?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018


What’s in the Trash?

NYC Department of Sanitation Releases Waste Characterization Study

Study Looks at How Much Material New Yorkers “Throw Away” in Our Recycling Bins and Trash Cans

The New York City Department of Sanitation announced the release of its 2017 NYC Residential, School, and NYCHA Waste Characterization Study, the latest look at what New Yorkers put in their trash, recycling, and organics bins.

Results from the study include:

    • New Yorkers are producing less waste at home than ever before— and 68 percent of what we do throw away belongs in a curbside organics or recycling bin.
    • Organics—including food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste—are the largest and still growing category of waste, representing the biggest opportunity for New Yorkers to divert waste from landfills.
    • After New York State implemented an electronic waste disposal ban, e-waste has declined by 60 percent.
    • New Yorkers are best at recycling cardboard and most often forget to recycling aluminum.
    • Cartons and aseptic boxes—including milk and juice cartons—are the most commonly misplaced recyclable items.

    See the full study here:


    Zero Waste Building Maintenance Program

    The Zero Waste Building Maintenance Training is designed to help building maintenance staff run an outstanding apartment building recycling program. Through a combination of classroom instruction, field trips and practical activities, you will develop:

    • A solid understanding of proper recycling procedures
    • Ability to distinguish between resident and building responsibilities
    • Knowledge to troubleshoot recycling issues
    • Awareness of DSNY programs available to apartment buildings
    • Skills to teach others about recycling

    Students who successfully complete the program by meeting the course requirements will receive a Zero Waste Building Maintenance Training Certificate.

    Program Requirements

    To qualify for the Zero Waste Building Maintenance Training Certificate, participants must:

    1. Attend Training Session 1 and 2.
    2. Complete 2 site visits.
    3. Demonstrate an outstanding apartment building recycling program.

    For more information and to apply, click here

    Composting Grant


    Receive up to $750

    DEADLINE March 23, 2018

    Citizens Committee for New York City, the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB), and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer have partnered to offer grants to start, expand and grow composting programs in all five boroughs of New York City

    Grants of up to $750 are awarded to community groups working on neighborhood composting programs. Groups eligible for funding include community associations, community gardens, friends of park groups, housing development groups, nonprofits, schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, and private businesses. Grants can be used to purchase materials to start or expand upon a composting program.


    Single Stream Recycling Presentations Recap

    On January 10th 2018, the Manhattan SWAB held a special "long" meeting, with extra seating capacity and presentations about the future of recycling in NYC. The Department of Sanitation Chief of Staff, Greg Anderson, presented on the steps that the City is taking to move our residential recycling system to one that handles glass, metal, plastic, and mixed paper products as a single stream. This differs from the status quo, where NYC's residential buildings currently separate recyclables into two streams: glass/metal/plastic, and mixed paper. 

    Greg Anderson's presentation can be found here

    Two members of the Manhattan SWAB followed Greg's presentation with their own, a dive into the research on Single Stream recycling, through the lens of experiences in other Cities in North America. 

    The MSWAB members' slides can be found here

    Reuse and Repair Grantees, Fall 2017

    We are very proud of our Reuse and Repair Grant projects, and are so pleased to have provided $24,025 in funds to 16 projects, in partnership with Citizens Committee for New York City

    We will update this page soon with links, blurbs, and images for each project!

    Caldwell Enrichment Program: Waste Not Project

    Grant Amount: $800

    Fixers Collective : Repair Cafes and Best Practices Guide Creation

    Grant Amount: $1,210

    GOOD+ Foundation : New Infrastructure for Organizing Clothing Donation

    Grant Amount: $1,000

    HarborLAB : The Reused Rover

    Grant Amount: $1,250

    Los Herederos : The Sonicycle! "Recycle a Bicycle Borough Bounce

    Grant Amount: $2,000

    Marcus Garvey Park Alliance : The Art of Adaptive Reuse

    Grant Amount: $500

    Mott Hall Community School : Mott Hall Community School’s Bike Repair Shop

    Grant Amount: $750

    Pop Up Repair : Veterans Repair Apprenticeship Program

    Grant Amount: $2,000

    Pop Up Repair : Pop Up Repair Citywide

    Grant Amount: $1,500

    Remade in Brooklyn : Launch

    Grant Amount: $1,700

    RPGA Studio : Queens Power Tool Learning and Lending Library

    Grant Amount: $1,780

    Sadhana : Project Prithvi

    Grant Amount: $1,900

    Smiling Hogshead Ranch : Re-Bicycle

    Grant Amount: $1,950

    Staten Island Arts

    Grant Amount: $2,000

    Sue Rock Originals Everyone

    Grant Amount: $1,685

    TIME'S UP! : Community Bicycle Recycling Education for You and the Planet

    Grant Amount: $2,000

    What is "Zero Waste"?

    The MSWAB adopted the Zero Waste International Alliance's definition of Zero Waste. The definition is as follows: 

    Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

    Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.

    Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

    Learn more about ZWIA and their Zero Waste definition here

    Thank You, Fall Fundraiser Sponsors!

    Thank you for attending, donating to, or sponsoring our 1st annual NYC Reuse & Repair Grant Fundraiser on Nov. 16 at Project Farmhouse!!

    It was a huge success: the event raised over $12,000; 100% of the proceeds will go towards the NYC Reuse & Repair Grant and Community Compost Grant programs.


    Platinum Sponsor:


    Gold Sponsors:

    Silver Sponsors:

    Mr. Lenny Formato

    Reuse and Repair Grant: Applications Open

    Reuse and Repair Grant

    The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) is partnering with Citizens Committee for New York City and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to launch our newest grant initiative: NYC Reuse and Repair.  The goal of the grant is to support New York City in reusing, repairing, and refurbishing 100% of all discarded products that can be reused in some capacity, with the balance being recycled.

    Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to start new reuse or repair projects, undertake related research projects, or initiate other activities which will help lead to replicable reuse or repair models in all five boroughs of New York City.

    Proposals must be completed and submitted by 11:59pm, September 12, 2017.