Working, Eating and Living Green in Union Square

Union Square Park Trash Can photo by Liz Ligon

Union Square Park Trash Can photo by Liz Ligon

The whole city is going green! Several New York City Agencies and NYC advocacy groups, as well as USP, have launched a number of efforts to build a more sustainable future for the City of New York. Explore details on NYC’s foam ban, the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board’s new Residential Recycling and Reuse Guidelines, and USP’s recent zero waste and sustainability efforts.

Beginning January 1st, 2019, the City’s Foam Ban goes into effect. This means certain expanded polystyrene (EPS) items will be banned from sale, distribution, or use in New York City, including foam cups, containers, dish ware, and packing peanuts. Business owners can find more information from the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) here, to fully understand the law and get help transitioning to new materials to replace foam products.

Following the announcement of the ban, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “New York City’s ban on styrofoam is long overdue, and New Yorkers are ready to start using recyclable alternatives. There’s no reason to continue allowing this environmentally unfriendly substance to flood our streets, landfills, and waterways.” USP is eager to see the positive effects this ban will have on our community and the larger NYC area.

NYC Foam Ban

NYC Foam Ban

Looking to increase recycling, reuse and organics collection in your NYC residential building? The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (MSWAB) has released free guides for building owners, property managers, interested superintendents and residents with practical strategies, tools and inspiration to move your building toward zero waste. Download MSWAB’s guidelines on recycling and organics collection below.

MSWAB Residential Recycling Guide

MSWAB Residential Recycling Guide

MSWAB Residential Organics Collection Guide

MSWAB Residential Organics Collection Guide

From studying what’s thrown out in our public space waste bins, encouraging participants to use reusable bottles at Summer in the Square, and diverting over 90% of waste from landfill at Harvest in the Square, to organizing a zero waste forum for local businesses and organizations and reimagining USQ’s public space recycling, the Union Square Partnership is working hard to help our district move toward zero waste.

In response to the success of our recent Zero Waste Forum in October 2018, USP offered a waste audit program to businesses and organizations in the district that attended the forum. Waste audits analyze an organization or facility’s waste streams to identify what types of recyclable materials and waste are generated and ways to decrease waste, increase recycling, and improve overall sustainability. USP has kicked off the waste audit program with five local businesses to help them measure waste and identify opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle. Stay tuned for details on each participating business, and key takeaways from the audit process when the program wraps up in Spring 2019.