Every day, tens of thousands of trucks filled with food, clothing, and other goods arrive in New York City to be delivered, unpacked, and consumed. And every day, approximately 24,000 tons of discarded materials leave the city as waste. Waste management costs New York City over a billion dollars every year. To combat this problem, in 2014, the city announced a Zero Waste plan to reduce the amount of discards sent to landfills by 90% by 2030.
Designing Waste: Strategies for a Zero Waste City explores how we manage waste in our buildings and neighborhoods, and how design can help reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. The exhibition examines the architecture of New York City’s gray spaces for trash—the overlooked areas where waste is managed in our buildings. This is when waste is closest to us, when it’s sorted and stored in apartments, trash rooms, basement corridors, loading bays, and sidewalks. And this is where architects, designers, and building professionals have agency to transform the waste system.
The exhibition is based on the Zero Waste Design Guidelines, an expansive document that examines architectural strategies for waste reduction.
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