America Recycles Day at Cooper Park Houses

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“NYCHA represents 20% of the City’s population, and their recycling rates are almost zero. But that’s because there wasn’t an infrastructure in place, but we’re going to change that,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso

Cooper Park Houses celebrated the 19th annual America Recycles Day with help from friends at NYCHA, the Department of Sanitation, GrowNYC, Keep America Beautiful, and thanks to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilman Antonio Reynoso who organized it. Recycling is significant to Reynoso as he is the chair of the sanitation committee.

In addition to getting tote and shopping bags, and other tools to help keep their carbon footprint down, Cooper Park Houses received two brand new recycling bins. This is a huge step up from the compactor room that was out of the way from the trash collection route, making it much easier to be green.

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Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito says, “Recycling is at the core of our solid waste strategy. If we recycle we are getting all that trash out of the waste stream. There’s a lot of work that we need to do to continue to encourage recycling.”

The national recycling rate has increased every year for the past 30 years. The speaker and councilman both cited NYC’s recycling rate as being 15% — so there’s room for improvement.

Senior Vice President of Recycling for Keep America Beautiful, Brenda Pulley said, “What I want you to know is when you recycle things, they really get turned into new material.” She mentioned her visit to a Staten Island plant that receives and turns most of the paper recycled in NYC into boxes.

“To go to zero waste by 2030! This is our call to action. Think about that bottle instead of throwing it *away put it in your tote bag and bring it on down and put it in the recycling bin,” said Department of Sanitation’s Deputy Commissioner of Recycling & Sustainability, Bridget Anderson.

After the press conference the Cooper Park residents were directed to a workshop led by Jared Sessum of GrowNYC.

Even though America Recycles Day is over anyone can still take the pledge to:

  • I will find out what materials are collected for recycling in my community.
  • Reduce my personal waste by recycling. Within the next month, I will recycle more.
  • Share. In the next month, I will encourage one family member or one friend to take the pledge.
  • Take and post a photo of you recycling.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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