Strategies for a Zero Waste City
Center for Architecture, New York
– 1 September 2018
The exhibition is based on New York City’s “Zero Waste Design Guidelines”, which present a strategy for designers to reduce and avoid waste.
Every day, approximately 24,000 tonnes of waste are produced in New York City which is then removed to sites outside the city costing over a billion dollars, and presenting the authorities with several logistical and social problems. In 2014, New York City announced it would develop a “zero waste plan” to be implemented by 2030 to reduce 90 per cent of these mountains of rubbish.
The key questions of the zero waste design guidelines ask “how we manage waste in our buildings and neighborhoods, and how design can help reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill?” In doing so, it deals with components of waste management like waste separation, from which raw materials or reusable resources are obtained – things like compost or sources of energy.
“Designing Waste” focuses on various areas of the lifecycle of waste, or more precisely, the timeframe from disposal to transporting it on trucks, which offers designers the opportunity to develop products and concepts and to implement these in large numbers by 2030. “Reducing waste requires change at every level […]”, says Devon Klatell, the second chairwoman of the Rockefeller Foundation, which supports innovative ideas internationally and subsidises the guidelines.
The exhibition takes a look at the city’s landfill sites and the different disposal systems in various buildings using facts and solutions for private and professional situations, as well as with regards to food delivery services. Visitors can obtain a practical look at waste management and, using a waste calculator, they can assess how much space and what type of storage is necessary in specific types and sizes of buildings.
Another highlight is the American Institute of Architects New York’s project located in the same premises, which is collaborating with local architectural firms during the exhibition on the “zero waste” task of recording their entire waste behaviour and generally motivating them to throw less away.