“From coastal resiliency and sustainable green practices to the preservation of affordable housing, world-class public art, and vibrant, year-round programming in award-winning public spaces, Battery Park City leads the way in many of the measures that makes cities livable."

Raju Mann

President & CEO
  • 09/25
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Governance


Climate Week is a week of action! Climate Week NYC 2021, which runs from September 20-26, brings together international leaders from business, government, and civil society to showcase the ever-increasing momentum of global climate action. Here in Battery Park City, we demonstrate our dedication to our climate every day through a variety of initiatives.

One year ago we launched Battery Park City’s ten-year Sustainability Plan. Developed in consultation with a broad range of residential, local, and governmental stakeholders, the Plan provides the framework for developing and implementing a carbon neutral Battery Park City by the middle of the century, in keeping with the mandate set forth in New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The BPC Sustainability Plan is centered around four “Topic Areas” (Energy, Water, Materials & Waste, and Site), which are further broken down into broad aspirations and discrete methods for achievement that chart a course toward making Battery Park City a sustainability model. Today we’re highlighting  the “Materials & Waste” topic area of the Authority’s work.

Waste has a significant impact on the urban environment and public health, as well as on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In BPC’s Sustainability Plan, Materials and Waste Strategies focus on the items we bring into and use in the neighborhood and the ways we handle and dispose of waste. The Authority is executing on these strategies today by increasing the amount of reused and recycled materials to divert waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill, as well as expanding organics collection and composting programs across the neighborhood.

Waste Diversion & Waste Audits

Waste audits are a method that can be used to better understand how much waste a building or space generates, and how much of it is disposed properly (and diverted from landfill). Waste audits require the manual weighing and sorting of waste to determine its weight and composition.

On Earth Day 2019, BPCA launched its Zero Waste Initiative, a waste-reduction program that includes education, regular reporting and review of vendor practices, and pledges from more than 100 Authority staff members to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Focusing initially on BPCA’s practices at its 75 Battery Place facility, on Earth Day 2020 the Authority attained Gold-level TRUE certification (an assessor-based program that rates how well facilities minimize waste), by decreasing office waste going to landfill by 90% over a 12-month period. Several Authority staff have also earned certification as TRUE Zero Waste advisors, lending BPCA on-site expertise to implement the neighborhood’s Zero Waste program. This committee continues to monitor waste streams produced by staff within the facility.

The Authority’s now at work on its next goal: Gold Zero Waste certification for all of Battery Park City’s open spaces and operations. That effort underway by weighing and recording the trash collected in our parks and street receptacles on a daily basis and conducting waste audits of the trash collected in our parks. Through two audits in 2021 to date (April and July) BPCA collected more than 2,300 pounds of waste (1,094 lbs. and 1,287 lbs., respectively) that would have otherwise been sent to landfill. The types and proportions of waste identified through these audits is illustrated as follows:

Based on these findings and the data we’ll keep collecting through the end of the year, in 2022 the Authority will continue toward its goal of diverting 90% of its parks waste from landfill. To do so, staff across the Authority will be encouraged to think critically about the materials they use in performing their daily functions and ways in which to reduce, reuse, and recycle these items, documenting and measuring their progress along the way.

Used coffee cups collected as part of BPCA’s July park waste audit.

Organics Collection & Composting

Along with reducing, reusing, and recycling of manufactured materials, composting organic materials is an effective means of diverting landfill waste while helping enrich soil and avoid erosion.

Battery Park City’s community composting program includes organic materials collected from local businesses, Gateway Plaza (BPC’s largest residential complex), community drop off bins in parks, and BPCA’s 75 Battery Place facility. Through this program, the Authority has produced roughly 156,000 pounds of compost since 2019, including more than 44,000 pounds in the first eight months of 2021 alone.

Parks users can also participate in BPCA’s Dog Waste Compost pilot program at any of the neighborhood’s three dog runs. First launched during Climate Week 2019, to date this program has helped divert more than 2,600 pounds of waste from the landfill. Composting rather than disposing of this waste in its raw form helps minimize the amount of methane gas released, while also reducing the number of plastic bags typically used to pick up pet waste.

Additional Resources:

BPC Sustainability Plan: Waste Diversion / Organics Collection & Composting

BPC Dog Waste Composting – How to Dispose of Dog Poop the Green Way

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