Reducing Waste in Lower Manhattan | Downtown Alliance

Reducing Waste in Lower Manhattan

Lower Manhattan, now home to roughly 62,000 residents, nearly 300,000 workers, and millions of visitors each year, is a thriving and dynamic mixed-use community that is generating tons of garbage. At the Downtown Alliance, we’re doing what we can to keep Lower Manhattan clean and welcoming but the increasing amount of residential waste on our narrow sidewalks has emerged as a top quality of life concern.

What the Downtown Alliance Does:

Our 60-person sanitation team works to keep the streets clean by bagging nearly 1,500 tons of public trash and collecting 250 tons of public recyclables a year. We also clear litter from streets and sidewalks, remove graffiti and stickers, and shovel snow away from bus stops, subway entrances and public plazas within our catchment area, which extends from Murray Street to the Battery and from South Street to West Street.

But the Downtown Alliance is barred from handling residential waste. This guide, developed with consultants, building managers, property owners, residents and city agencies, is intended to identify ways that local stakeholders can do their part.

It outlines:

  • Tips on recycling and diverting additional materials including organics, textiles and e-waste;

  • Inexpensive strategies for properties on how to reduce the volume of sidewalk refuse through compacting and baling; and

  • Long-term policy recommendations for DSNY.

You Can Help Too:

The single most impactful thing is to better handle the volume of residential trash placed on our streets. That can be achieved through recycling, diversion, and the use of balers and compactors. Sometimes, individual residents or buildings can make a difference. In other cases, different property owners may work together. The recommendations in this guide include short- and long-term operational changes. Some of the suggestions are relatively easy to implement, others require a more substantial investment.

Regardless of the scale of your intervention, we hope this guide inspires you to take action. Each of us has a stake in making Lower Manhattan a more welcoming place for residents, workers and visitors alike.

Upcoming Events:

  • March 9 - Alliance hosts a volunteer day to spread compost from Earth Matter on Governor's Island at Bowling Green with students from Macaulay Honors College at CUNY
  • March 25 - Alliance hosts an information session by DSNY on their Zero Waste programs for residential buildings (organics, textiles and e-waste)
  • April 6 - Alliances hosts a Shred-A-Thon @ Queen Elizabeth II Garden
  • May 21 - Dine Around Downtown goes Zero Waste with assistance from Common Ground Compost; Event will also feature on-site education about organic waste diversion
  • June 9 - Alliance Hosts e-waste collection @ Fulton Street (between Cliff and Gold Sts.)
  • Spring 2019 - Alliance Pilots Two Organics Bins @ Bowling Green and Coenties Slip
  • Spring 2019 - Alliance Hosts Small Business Breakfast with organics enrollment information