A Gigantic Guide on All the Ways to Save Your Old Stuff From the Landfill

12/13/2021 in
A Gigantic Guide on All the Ways to Save Your Old Stuff From the Landfill

A downside of the holiday season is that it leaves you with a lot of junk. Holiday presents you don’t want, decorations you need to get rid of, ugly sweaters you’re already sick of — all of it needs to go somewhere, and the last place it should go is a landfill. This city generates a lot of waste that contributes to our climate footprint: the Department of Sanitation estimates 77% of the garbage we create could be recycled or reused, including compostable food waste (hint hint: join our new pilot program!). And yet, little makes it to a recycling facility.

Luckily here in New York City, there are myriad ways to make sure your old goods get upcycled, recycled or find a new home. The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board has just published a huge database with hundreds of organizations that will accept your unwanted items. The board calls this the most extensive guide ever produced, showing where New Yorkers can keep their good-condition items in circulation — and find great deals on previously-used free and cheap stuff. 

The database lists stores, charities, organizations and drop-off sites along with what kinds of goods they accept, from clothes and electronics to plumbing equipment and wallpaper. It also lists where you can get items repaired, so you can purchase fewer replacement items. The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board is a volunteer citizens’ advisory board dedicated to helping NYC achieve its goal of Zero Waste, and getting people to embrace the ethos of “buying less stuff” is key to that goal. 

“Just about every New Yorker has walked by a pile of garbage at the curb and seen items that could be reused, but they didn’t know what to do about it. Or they have similar items at home that they don’t want to put in the garbage,” said the board’s database creator, Allison Allen. “We invite them to explore this new resource and help us encourage a culture of sharing and “#sharecycling.” 

The database covers not only waste, but things like sharing libraries, equipment rentals, repairs and street-find sites like @stoopingnyc on Instagram. 

Tags: recycling

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