New York City waste yards, while providing a space for waste collection, segregation and disposal in neighborhoods, are also inactive, passive spaces that take up considerable areas of the city’s public realm, especially along the main streets. In NYCHA, wateyards are recurring spaces at the face of each development. An awkward, disorganized, smelly, and visible intrusion on residents’ everyday quality of life. Each year, a disproportionate share of NYCHA’s workforce is drained managing the 200,000 tons of waste produced. But what if this could change? In partnership with NYCHA residents and staff we are investigating the anatomy of NYCHA’s waste yards, studying their efficiency, relationships to public streetscapes and their impact on community experience. Together we are forging a path to replace the obstructive eye sores and pest attracting container yards of today with welcoming enclosures that activate the campus edge, add visual identity to surrounding public space and go beyond NYC standards in handling waste. Our new yard designs, with better equipment and systems, are compact and efficient. They give waste yard space back to residents, expanding the boundary of the problem to achieve a bigger solution with community value.


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