Zero Tolerance

Preview: Designing Waste at the Center for Architecture

East On View Sustainability Urbanism
Preview: Designing Waste at the Center for Architecture. The show will track waste's path and suggest improvements. (NYC DSA)

Every day, about 24,000 tons of discarded materials leave New York City to head for distant landfills. Designing Waste, curated by Andrew Blum and designed by WkSps, will investigate how designers can help sharply reduce that number. Drawing from the Rockefeller Foundation and AIA New York’s Zero Waste Design Guidelines (PDF), the exhibition closely examines current trash management systems, and explores how to improve efficiency and alternatives, especially before trash makes its way to trucks.

“It’s not about recycling plants and landfills. It’s about the moment trash is closest to us,” said Blum. “This is where architects can really do something. Its sheer invisibility mesmerizes me.”

Innovations range from simple ideas like making waste separation easier and improving the flow of material, to providing new resources for compacting, recycling, metering, and calculating waste. The show will even include a giant recycling baler, which Blum says could become a common site inside most New York buildings. Per its Zero Waste Challenge, the city plans to send zero waste to landfills by 2030. So it better hurry up and pay attention.

An example of poor waste management in New York. (Center for Architecture)

Designing Waste: Strategies for a Zero Waste City
Center For Architecture, 536 Laguardia Place
June 14- September 1

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