Join Our Residential Recycling Forum on October 7

Join MSWAB Chair Jacquelyn Ottman, DSNY Outreach Specialist Sam Sepulveda, and Sims Municipal Recycling General Manager Tom Outerbridge for a discussion of practical tools and strategies for fostering a culture of sustainable waste management in your multifamily building.

The forum will be held at from 6-8 PM at Manhattan’s Marble Church (274 Fifth Avenue). Find more details on our flyer.

Participate in the Manhattan Paper Challenge

Pratt Industries is challenging Manhattan's Community Boards to accelerate their paper recycling, and is awarding $75,000 in prizes to the districts with the largest quarterly and annual increases.

Quarterly prizes

  • 1st place: $5,000

  • 2nd place: $3,000

  • 3rd place: $2,000

Annual awards

  • 1st place: $20,000

  • 2nd place: $10,000

  • 3rd place: $3,000

The Office of the Manhattan Borough President, the Solid Waste Advisory Board and the winning Community Boards will select Waste Reduction, Recycling and Reuse Organizations to receive grants within the district. Learn more on our flyer.

NYC Foam Ban Enforcement Begins

After a six month warning period, the Department of Sanitation has begun issuing fines to businesses and organizations caught distributing single-use foam products.

First-time offenses carry a $250 fine. Second-time violators will pay $500, and those with three citations within a year will be fined $1000.

Citizens can report violations via the city’s 311 app (instructions here).

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Foam Ban can be found on our Resources page.

Is New York Ready for the Green New Deal? Event Recap

Thank you for attending!

We hosted a thrilling event at the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side focused on the future Green New Deal: it was an opportunity for policy makers to engage with MSWAB and members of the public on a topic that many of us are eagerly awaiting.

Quoted from Waste 360: The panel, “Is NYC Ready for the New Green Deal?: A Zero Waste Perspective,” featured Robert Hockett, member of U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal team; Antonio Reynoso, NYC council member and chair of the Committee on Sanitation & Solid Waste Management; Ron Gonen, co-founder and CEO of Closed Loop Fund; and Jennifer McDonnell, Resource Recovery Program manager at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. The panel was moderated by Kate Mikuliak, program manager for strategic policy for the New York City Department of Transportation. Read on in Waste 360 here

The event was also featured in Our Town NY. Read more here.

We would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors:

MSWAB  Enthusiast and Supporter Sponsors 062419.png
MSWAB Friends Sponsors 062419.png

Updates on the Green New Deal from the Peoples Climate Movement of NY

Greetings, PCM-NY supporters!

We have some important and exciting news to share. After a series of sobering reports on climate change -- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeFourth National Climate Assessment -- we are finally getting some excellent traction on climate policy change in New York City and State. Below is a list of actions and activities that you can plug into and share with others. Each is important, so please do jump in!

1. The breakthrough "Dirty Buildings" bill is making its way through the NY City Council. It will require landlords of the big buildings spewing 70%+ of the carbon in our city to retrofit and dramatically decrease their carbon emissions-- 80% by 2050. This is the first bill of its kind globally and is opening a whole new line of attack in slowing down climate change.  WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE SURE IT PASSES THE CITY COUNCIL. The real estate industry will be punching back, no doubt. Here's what you can do to support this bill that will reduce carbon, reduce heating and cooling costs, and protect our health:

  • Call your City Council Member and ask her/him to co-sponsor and support the "Dirty Buildings" bill. If you want to join a team to visit your City Council Member, please email with "city council" in the subject line within the next week. See "talking points" and City Council contacts documents.

  • Join the rally on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 9 AM and public hearing on the "Dirty Buildings" bill at City Hall. The hearing will lastmost of the day, so please come whenever and for as long (or briefly) as you can. Bring signs and banners to show support.

2. NY Renews, the statewide coalition advancing the Climate and Community Protection Act, is holding Climate Justice forums across the city. They will be exciting, informative and help you further plug into this important work on the state level.

3. Divestment from Fossil Fuels is moving along in NYC, but needs your support to spread and be effective. We have two important ways for you to help spread the word and support this work on city, state and national levels:

  • Attend a webinar on divestment with a focus on The Financial and Scientific Urgency of Divestment of Union Pension Funds, Monday, Dec. 10, 8 pm ET. Invite your friends locally and from around the country to attend the webinar and consider divestment campaigns for their unions, cities and states. The webinar is co-sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America, Labor Network for Sustainability and

  • Sign a petition to support divestment from fossil fuels in NYC. While the NYC Comptroller and Mayor have announced their intention to divest and re-invest in "climate solutions"--another win for climate justice--we need to show our support for the pension trustees who have also committed to divestment but are getting pushback from some conservative forces. Please sign and forward it to your contacts.

4. Check out the Green New Deal that PCM-NY and lots of other organizations have signed on to. It's an exciting development pushing the new Congress that will be seated in January toward addressing climate change. 

We are at a pivotal moment where there is simultaneously much more clarity on the treacherous advance of climate change and more willingness and opportunity to do something about it. We are fortunate to have strong and dedicated allies as we move forward together.

Here's to a just future!

Allen, Denise, Jeanne, Leslie, Marilyn and Nancy...for the Peoples Climate Movement NY

Apply for a Reuse and Repair Grant! (Deadline Oct 3, 2018)

Photo by  Maggie Clarke

Photo by Maggie Clarke

PRESS RELEASE: Weds. July 18th

Citizens Committee for New York City is partnering with the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (MSWAB) and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for 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.

(All of the information here can also be found on CCNYC's website here).




Proposals must be completed and submitted by 11:59pm, October 3, 2018. Eligible groups include community and neighborhood associations, individuals, non-profits, for-profit small businesses, schools, and professors, researchers, and student groups at education institutions. Groups and individuals must be located within any of the five boroughs of New York City. Read our application instructions to find out more about the expectations for the grant. Be on the lookout for an instructional video that will be available this summer!

2018 MSWAB Reuse and Repair Grant Instructions



WORD APPLICATION: Save a copy of the application to your computer. Open the document, fill in your answers, save it as a Word Document, and send it back to us. You may also print out either version of the application and hand-write your answers. If you run into trouble with any of the application formats, contact Citizens Committee.

2018 MSWAB Reuse and Repair Grant Application



Completed proposals can be sent via email to or by fax at (212) 989-0983. Proposals can also be mailed to our office. Attn: Katie Grassle, 77 Water Street, Suite 202 New York, New York 10005



Spring 2018 Community Composting Grant Fundraiser

Thanks so much to those for attending and giving to MSWAB to fund the Compost Grant Program. With your generous support in donations and ticket sales, the 2018 Compost Grant Fundraiser reached $15,000! 100% of the proceeds of the event will go towards MSWAB’s grant programs, awarded to community groups, non-profits, and private businesses to start or expand upon an existing compost and reuse and repair programs.

Thanks to all of the exhibitors, panelists, speakers, and sponsors for making this event and programs a reality!


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

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.

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: