According to Katherine Flynn for AIA ARCHITECT, tens of thousands of tons of trash leave New York City every day—roughly the weight of 8,000 cars. Most of it travels an average of 300 miles to states such as Pennsylvania, where it is dumped into landfills and forgotten. In 2015, New York spent $316 million shipping the city’s trash to its final resting places.

In a bold effort to eliminate citywide waste altogether, the city released its OneNYC plan in 2015, which takes its cue from other environmental initiatives in targeting 2030 as the year when zero waste produced by New Yorkers will end up in a landfill.

Spurred by the ambitiousness of this goal, members of AIA New York’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) began asking themselves how architects and developers could best address the problem of waste generated by buildings—or, more specifically, the people in them. They released the Zero Waste Design Guidelines in October 2017 as a blueprint for how buildings could better manage and divert the waste streams being created within them, and how architects and designers could think holistically going forward about waste management during the design process.

Read More