Broken cell phones, old television sets, outdated VCRs – what do we do with these common electronic items once they’ve outlived their usefulness?
Although NYC residents may legally dispose of electronics in the trash, doing so can put our environment at risk. Computers, televisions, cell phones, and television accessories such as DVD players and video game consoles contain materials that can potentially harm the environment. In order to keep these items from secreting these dangerous substances as they sit in landfills, New York City is encouraging residents to recycle them. In fact, starting in 2015, common electronic items will be banned from trash disposal in NYC and will be required to be recycled.
In order to get your e-cycling routine started and help our city be greener now, here are three simple tips for recycling electronics:
1. Bring your old electronic equipment to a Take Back or Trade-In program. State law requires manufacturers of electronics such as computer equipment, televisions and accessories, and portable electronic devices to collect and recycle their products from customers. You may drop off e-materials at a local Goodwill, Salvation Army, Best Buy, Staples or other locations at no cost.
2. If you live in an apartment building, spread the word about e-cycleNYC! This new program offers buildings and complexes a pick-up and recycling service for unwanted electronics.
Our City has 29,000 acres of parkland and green space that contribute to New Yorkers’ quality of life, and after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, everyone from volunteer groups to an historic cooperative management partnership between the National Park Service and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has pitched in to help restore beautiful natural areas like Jamaica Bay.
Now, as part of the City’s comprehensive climate change resiliency plan “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” Mayor Bloomberg has announced the creation of a new Science and Resilience Institute to help urban ecosystems like Jamaica Bay and adjacent communities stay strong in the face of climate change. A consortium of world-class research institutions led by the City University of New York will manage the institute and its intensive research program, which will focus on the restoration of Jamaica Bay and results of programs like a planned beach grass nursery at Floyd Bennett Field.
Click here for more information on the Science and Resilience Institute and progress on the restoration of Jamaica Bay.
Greening NYC’s buildings and infrastructure isn’t just a job for the professionals—you can join our city’s efforts by signing up to volunteer with NYC °CoolRoofs!
A collaboration between NYC Service and the New York City Department of Buildings, NYC °CoolRoofs promotes and facilitates the cooling of NYC rooftops. Applying a reflective surface to a roof helps reduce cooling costs, cut energy usage and lower greenhouse gas emissions (the City has already reduced its emissions by 16 percent since launching PlaNYC six years ago). To date, the program has coated almost four million square feet of roof space. Check out photos of volunteers in action on our Tumblr.
The next volunteer opportunity is tomorrow morning, August 4. Stop by the NYC °CoolRoofs Change by Us project page to learn about upcoming events and to RSVP on their Facebook page. Join other green-minded New Yorkers as we make a greener, greater NYC!
New York City has two new initiatives that are giving even more New Yorkers the opportunity to incorporate healthier foods into their lives, and that are providing greater access to fresh, local farmers market produce.
Under the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, doctors and nutritionists at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx and Harlem Hospital Center in Manhattan are assessing the health and nutritional habits of patients and families at risk for obesity and providing “prescriptions” to consume more fruits and vegetables. Patients will receive Health Bucks vouchers that can be redeemed for fruits and vegetables at NYC farmers markets. This year, Health Bucks is on target to make more than $560,000 worth of fruits and vegetables available to low-income New Yorkers.
The second program, “Come See What’s Cookin’, Kids,” builds on the Health Department’s Stellar Farmers Markets program to bring food-based nutrition education to kids at four City farmers markets. Children under 6 and their caregivers will have the chance to participate in free, fun activities and will also receive Health Bucks for participating in the classes.
To learn more about these new initiatives, you can read the full press release here.
Community organizations looking to promote nutrition education and access to affordable, healthy food in their neighborhoods can now apply to distribute Health Bucks for residents to use at NYC farmers’ markets during the program’s 2013 season starting in July.
Offered by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Health Bucks helps New Yorkers buy fresh and affordable produce while supporting local farmers. Local farmers’ markets that accept food stamps will also offer customers one Health Buck coupon (worth $2 each) for every $5 spent using food stamps. Health Bucks are redeemable at any food-stamp accepting farmers’ market in the city.
Groups interested in participating in the Health Bucks program by distributing the vouchers themselves can download the Health Bucks distribution application and instructions here. Quantities are limited, and applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis with a priority deadline of June 30, 2013. For more information on Health Bucks and other farmers’ market-based Health Department programs, you may visit their website.
Donated Sandy Housing Directory: New Yorkers can list their homes and extra space easily and immediately, all for free, and people who are looking for a place to stay can access these free spaces via Airbnb’s Donated Sandy Housing Directory.
New York Cares: Volunteer opportunities for Sandy Recovery are posted on a rolling basis, so check back frequently!
Brooklyn Public Library Donation Drop Off: Beginning Thursday, November 8, 16 BPL locations will be collecting items for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy
Where to Turn: Especially useful for those on Staten Island!
Coney Recovers: An initiative of the Alliance for Coney Island
FEMA Assistance Application: Learn more about what FEMA offers here
Disaster Assistance: Here’s where you can apply online!
Daytime Warming Centers: With the drop in temperatures, the City is providing warming centers located within Senior Centers in the five boroughs for a place to get out of the cold during the day. Residents can go to these sites to pick-up food, blankets, and water
Overnight Shelters: The public shelters are available to anyone who requires overnight shelter including food, water, and shower facilities.
Bus Service to Select Overnight Shelters: Bus service is available to select bus shelters
Blanket, Food, and Water Distribution Sites: Residents can go to these sites to pick-up food, blankets, and water.
Food Truck Locations: Hot food will be available via local food trucks at these locations from 12PM – 4PM.
Mobile Medical Van Locations: Mobile medical vans staffed with primary care providers who will be able to provide medical care and distribute commonly prescribed drugs are now at several of the City’s Disaster Assistance Service Centers.
Comprehensive Service Map: Includes volunteering and donation, shelters and recovery centers, and other useful locations.
Con Edison Outage Map: Maps the number of customers out in a given area.
Parks Updates: Important Parks Department storm-related service changes.
Efforts are underway to realize the full potential of the 10,000 acres in and around Jamaica Bay thanks to an innovative new partnership between the National Park Service and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. As announced last week by Mayor Bloomberg and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Gateway National Park and adjacent city park lands will be a model for green space use in our city and a home for community service opportunities, improved recreation facilities, and re-modeled areas for cycling and boating. This agreement is part of PlaNYC and our City’s Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy that are connecting New York City and its great natural landmarks, and should be a tremendous step forward for CBU projects like the Norton Basin Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Make sure to check for updates on this partnership here and add your Jamaica Bay project to our website!
On Wednesday, City officials announced a new healthy eating initiative that helps combat obesity. Shop Healthy NYC asks bodegas to prioritize the display of healthy food and produce while limiting the availability of junk food. This program is launching in the Bronx, and food suppliers Jetro and Krasdale will provide storeowners with incentives to stock healthy options. 100 community groups and 150 shops in Fordham and West Farms, two high-need areas of the Bronx, are already on board, and will make an impact on approximately 136,000 New Yorkers. With other healthy eating projects underway, including the NYC Health Department’s Health Bucks and Shop Healthy NYC’s Adopt-a-Shop program, there are a lot of great ways to get involved with eating healthy and improving food options in your community. To learn more about eating healthy and healthy food choices check out NYC Food.
Good news for fans of fresh fruit and vegetables – the New York City Health Department recently expanded their Health Bucks program. These $2 vouchers can now be used at any New York City farmers market. Shoppers using EBT or food stamps are also eligible to earn free Health Bucks for every $5 they spend, and community organizations in the South Bronx, Harlem, and Central Brooklyn can apply to receive Health Bucks to distribute to clients. Learn more about farmers’ markets and Health Bucks here.
Are you interested in seeing healthier food in local stores and educating your community about the importance of a healthy diet? The New York City Health Department is hosting a series of workshops on their Adopt-a-Shop program in the Bronx and Queens throughout the rest of July and August to help you do just that. The workshops equip participants with the tools they need to get healthy food choices at their local food stores, and to act as advocates for their local businesses. The remaining workshops are listed on our calendar, and don’t forget to visit the NYC Health website and the Change by Us NYC Tumblr to learn more.