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  • March 2, 2019
    DSNY Releases Containerized Waste RFEI

    DSNY, in partnership with the Department of Transportation (DOT), has released an RFEI seeking creative solutions for containerized refuse and recycling that will:

    – increase waste diversion, including by reduction, reuse, and recycling
    – reduce the volume of consolidated material set out on City sidewalks
    – reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with waste collection; and/or
    – improve the cleanliness of City streets and sidewalks

    The RFEI refers to the Zero Waste Design Guidelines, developed through the AIANY COTE and Center for Architecture:

    “Through this RFEI, the City seeks Responses inspired by the best practices as outlined in the Guidelines. Respondents should review Zero Waste Design Guidelines Chapter 3: Collection & Urban Design, which includes examples of best practices, including: sub-surface waste containers; “roll-on, roll-off” containers for private or public use; waste collection containers for public and/or private use; and freight distribution and waste collection micro-centers.”

  • Save A Sample! Expands to Deliver Materials to Local Artisans Year-round

    Save A Sample! has launched Save A Sample! for Art with the goal of helping design firms donate unneeded materials to artisan programs—365 days a year!

    “We’ve always dreamed of saving great samples all year long. 2019 is the year we make it happen!,” says Suzanne Swift, Save A Sample!’s founder and president of Save A Sample! for Art partners with top design firms throughout the country to help local artisans achieve their dreams to support themselves through their art.”

    It’s easy to participate. Design firms request a pre-paid mailing label, fill a box with great materials, and are matched with a local artisans program in their area. ​“Save A Sample makes it easy to avoid filling up our landfills and instead re-purposes materials to give them a new life,” says Helle Hodjat, Resource Director/Designer at Gensler. ​Artisans use the samples to create unique artwork.

    Sign up​ today at to be notified for the Save A Sample! for Art launch!

  • May 26, 2018
    Community Engagement: Creating Success Where it Counts

    “You are not a profession that has distinguished itself by your social and civic contributions…” Whitney M. Young Jr. famously and provocatively stated when he gave the keynote speech at the AIA convention of 1968.

    How much has changed since then? Have we begun to make significant contributions to solutions for our communities? To issues of diversity, gentrification or general inequality that face the people affected by our building projects or in our neighborhoods?

    At this lecture, the renowned Majora Carter—MacArthur Fellow, urban revitalizer and TED talker—talked about her community work. She discussed her personal decision to work with her South Bronx community to help it thrive by working locally, together with neighbors and community. She showed by example how she has helped design professionals understand the array of overlooked opportunities in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities—BEFORE picking up a pencil or creating policy.

    Can we do this in our own daily work? Susan Kaplan started off with a discussion of how much can actually can be done in a building project—how we can have huge positive impact in other people’s daily lives, become the advisors and professionals that help clients see the risks in NOT addressing social issues that are part and parcel of any project, and help clients shine to investors, government officials and potential employees alike, by optimizing their commitment to issues beyond the bottom line.

  • May 10, 2018
    NYC Department of Sanitation presents: Waste is a Design Flaw

    MONDAY, MAY 14   5:00PM
    151 West 42nd Street (21st Floor)

    Every week, the average New Yorker throws out nearly 15 pounds of waste at home and another nine pounds of waste at work and in commercial establishments. Altogether, that adds up to more than six million tons of waste generated per year.

    What role do designers play in New York City’s waste ecosystem? And how can designers help the City achieve its ambitious goal of sending Zero Waste to Landfills by 2030? Join us to explore the latest creative solutions—from high-fashion textile up-cycling to new guidelines for building design.

    Kathryn Garcia, Sanitation Commissioner
    Heron Preston, Designer
    Clare Miflin, AIA, Co-chair, AIANY Committee on the Environment, part of the Zero Waste Design Guidelines development team
    Moderator: Jessica Lax, Van Alen Institute

    Please RSVP here.
    See more Design Talks NYC here.

  • March 1, 2018
    Zero Waste Design Guidelines: Lunchtime Learning Session

    Presentations on the Zero Waste Design Guidelines are available in office for Architects, Sustainability Consultants, Planners and Developers. AIA CEU 1 hour LU/HSW. GBCI 1 hr.

    3 courses are available: General Overview, Residential Building Focus or Commercial Building Focus.

    The Zero Waste Design Guidelines address the crucial role that design plays in achieving NYC’s ambitious goal, outlined in OneNYC, to send zero waste to landfills by 2030. As a resource to help designers, building operators, and planners, the Guidelines show how to dramatically reduce waste and work toward greater adoption of circular material flows. Treating waste as a resource rather than trash depends on our ability to easily separate and manage our waste. Applying design strategies to our current system of linear material use will improve sidewalks and buildings as it lessens environmental and social impacts in the city and beyond.

    The presentation will give an overview of the design strategies within the guidelines and show how the waste calculator can be used to estimate the quantities of different waste streams a building will generate.

    Contact Co-Chair Clare Miflin to schedule:


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