FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2022
City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers Re-Introduces the
“Community Organics and Recycling Empowerment” (CORE) Act
Legislation greatly expands recycling and composting access by requiring drop-off sites in every community district across New York City
New York, NY – In honor of Earth Day, New York City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers will re-introduce the “Community Organics and Recycling Empowerment” (CORE) Act at the Council’s stated meeting next Thursday, April 28th. This legislation will substantially increase equitable access to composting and recycling in New York City by requiring drop-off sites in all community districts, while at the same time diverting significantly more waste away from landfills.
“Climate change is on our front doorstep, and it’s imperative that our city is doing our part and taking action,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “The Community Organics and Recycling Empowerment (CORE) Act will help reduce our city’s carbon footprint by making it easier for all New Yorkers to sustainably dispose of waste. As we rebuild, this legislation lays the foundation for a healthier, greener, and more sustainable New York City.”
The first bill would require the city to establish three drop-off composting sites in every community district across the city, which must be easily accessible for all residents in the area and open for at least 20 hours every week. The second bill would allow for the collection of recyclable materials like electronics, which currently cannot be disposed of into our general waste stream under New York State law.
Due to the pandemic, many of New York City’s composting programs have faced severe budget cuts that have left city residents without a sustainable, healthy mechanism to dispose of waste. These bills, however, will greatly expand environmental equity across communities and give New Yorkers much needed places to drop off organics, electronics, textiles, and other materials for recycling.
“As we work to achieve Zero Waste by 2030, we must provide New Yorkers more equitable access to sustainable waste programs,” said Council Member Sandy Nurse. “Today, I’m excited to join Council Member Powers and my colleagues in introducing the CORE Act, to ensure our City provides organic waste and recycling sites in every community district. As the Council demands the restoration, expansion and baselining of essential sanitation services, we must guarantee access to programs for all New Yorkers.”
“Our Zero Waste goals cannot be abstract ideals – they must be concrete steps toward building a greener and more resilient City. Today, I am proud to stand with Council Member Powers as he reintroduces the CORE Act to make sure our City continues its commitment to a Zero Waste future,” said Council Member Shahana Hanif. “Tackling climate change requires an entire toolkit of options to ensure New Yorkers can reduce their waste and their carbon footprint. By building more organic curbside drop-off stations, we can provide every New Yorker in the five boroughs the chance to ensure their food waste goes toward improving our City instead of just ending up in a landfill.”
“The Department of Sanitation engages in critical work that is just as integral to our sustainability goals as it is to the experienced quality of life of New Yorkers citywide,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “On this Earth Day, I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this critical legislative package to expand and improve waste management at the neighborhood level. The CORE Act will bring recycling centers and organic waste drop-off sites to every community district, ensuring New Yorkers are supported with the programs and resources necessary to pursue a more sustainable quality of life.”
“Despite organic material comprising 38% of waste generated by New Yorkers, the city only manages to divert 1.4% of that waste away from landfills. I am introducing the CORE Act with colleagues to increase the opportunity for New Yorkers across the city to participate in organics collection and learn about the importance of organic waste diversion,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer. “Creating organic and e-waste drop-off sites in every community district is a critical way to meet our city’s zero waste goals and protect the environment.”
“Providing equitable recycling options to all City residents is critical to take real steps to address the waste crisis and strive toward zero waste goals,” said Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “These bills are priorities for NYLCV and included as part of our 2021 Scorecard, and we’re excited to support them as they are again considered in the Council.”
“By reintroducing the CORE Act, Council Member Powers once again demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the environmental health of New York City,” said GrowNYC President and CEO Marcel Van Ooyen. “We aim to make composting second nature to all New Yorkers, as composting food scraps is of the simplest ways that New York City residents can help combat climate change, diverting organic materials from landfills and transforming them into nutrients for our soil to grow delicious, nutritious food. We are so grateful to leaders like Council Member Powers who share this goal.”