Bloomberg Visits Morningside Gardens
Left to right: Marcel Van Ooyen, Executive Director, GrowNYC; John Doherty, Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation; Mayor Bloomberg; Claudia Strauss, Grey Group PR; Cas Holloway, Deputy Mayor for Operations;Russell Jermaine, General Manager, MHHC; Larry D’Addona, MHHC Board of Directors.
Excerpts from remarks at the July 29th Press Conference at Morningside Gardens Thurgood Marshall Room.
Last September, if you remember, we launched an Organics Collection Pilot Program in over 90 public schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island and this Sping we expanded the pilot to include household organics recycling in Westerly, Staten Island and a small number of high rise residential buildings elsewhere, including here at Morningside Gardens. And these programs, I’m happy to say, have been a very big success. In Westerly, more than fifty percent of households have already participated and here in Morningside Gardens, the total weight of trash has plummeted by thirty-five percent. (Applause. Yes it is wonderful. It really is working. Nobody thought it would but it does. More applause.) Because the program’s been so successful, we are expanding it, first beginning this September in parts of Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn, and Throgs Neck in the Bronx, and if you live in one of those neighborhoods you will receive a mailer from the Department of Sanitation… Sanitation will provide small bins for household collection and larger bins for building-wide collection, and like the current pilot program in Staten Island and here in Morningside Gardens, participation is voluntary but highly recommended and very easy. Sanitation will again expand the program to additional neighborhoods around the city in the Spring of 2014 and by then we expect it to reach more than one hundred thousand residences or twenty-five thousand in each of the four boroughs we are doing it. By 2015 Sanitation will also expand its organic collection program to every public school in the city. Sanitation also has a food scraps collection program at 29 green markets in all five boroughs in partnership with GrowNYC, the non-profit that runs our farmers’ markets. The green markets program alone, you should know, is on track to divert well over one million pounds of food scraps from our landfills this year alone… These new initiatives are going to take a big bite out of our landfills.
Deputy Mayor for Operations, Cas Holloway
…Thanks to the vision of John Doherty and his deputy commissioner of sustainability, Ron Gonin, we are boldly going where just a few years ago–and even a few months ago for some of you–no one thought we could, recycling food waste and other organic material that makes up 35% of our waste stream… Recycling saves money, which means its good for the environment and your pocketbook…
Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation, John Doherty
…I want to thank everyone that’s in this room that happen to live in these buildings here for what they’ve accomplished so far with the food waste program. Now this is not easiest program when it comes to recycling believe me and so much of it is based on what you do, the people of New York City do when it comes to food waste or any of the recycling. We can do about maybe 15% of the work by giving you cans and carts and information about it, but the people of New York City and the people…in these buildings in particular have to play their role in it. Without their help, we’ll never make it. And you do 85% of the work, by sorting it out, keeping it, putting it in the carts; we only pick it up and make sure it’s composted. Thank you very much.
Marcel Van Ooyen, Executive Director, GrowNYC
We are a non-profit that partners with the Department of Sanitation to help educate New Yorkers about how to recycle better… Morningside Gardens is a perfect example of how the Department of Sanitation and our office work together. The folks at Morningside Gardens, who were dropping off food scraps at one of our green markets at Columbia, approached our staff and said: “Hey we want to get involved in the organics program that the city is rolling out and how can we do that?” The staff met with them, brought in the department of Sanitation, had a bunch of wonderful meetings with the staff here and this program was what was born… We are very excited that this program got launched… I want to thank Russell Jermaine, the general manager, Larry D’Addona, the coop board president, and Skip Delano, the co-founder of the Compost Club, and all the wonderful residents who basically fill their pails each day and bring them down to the composting bins there and dropping it in. They truly prove that you can recycle anything… Congratulations…everyone.
Russell Jermaine, General Manager, Morningside Heights Housing Corporation
I’d like to start this speech by thanking the residents here. This is the community which this is the perfect pilot program for. The residents here at Morningside Gardens truly care about New York City composting and recycling. So the introduction of this pilot program that was brought here by GrowNYC and introduced to me through the president Lawrence D’Addona was an important part to expand on the recycling programs of the city, and we are very happy to be a part of that. I would like to thank as well Skip Delano, who, through his efforts, and education of our residents, is really what made this program more successful than we ever thought. Thank you very much.