MCSWAB was established with the four other New York City solid
waste advisory boards with the enactment of Local Law 19 of 1989. Since its' creation, the Manhattan Citizens Solid Waste Advisory Board has been extremely active and very effective
providing oversight and advice to the Sanitation Department, the City Council,
and other local and state agencies. The Board consists of volunteers --
those in the recycling / waste fields, and those who are not.
The Board's list of accomplishments shows that the SWAB has a long history of making creative recommendations, advocating for more money for recycling and waste prevention, new research, and seeing some of those efforts come to fruition in the form of new legislation and higher budgets.
The Board meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month, except Augusts usually, in the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St, 19th floor conference room. All meetings are open to the public. Interested Manhattan residents or workers are encouraged to attend meetings and to join. To get on our mailing list to receive meeting agenda and announcements, please contact Rick Muller, Manhattan Borough President's Office.
As of 2005 the Board is chaired by Maite Quinn and Vice chaired by Maggie Clarke. There are committees dealing with export of waste and recyclables, environmental procurement, E-waste/recycling, and long-range planning. The steering committee meets monthly.
The Waste Prevention committee is a subcommittee of the Manhattan Citizens' Solid Waste Advisory Board. This committee has been in existence since 1988, and our achievements have included providing recommendations to the New York City Department of Sanitation (DOS), the City Council, and others on the following topics:
In 2005 the committee began work on revision of the New York State Solid Waste Management Act of 1988, working with state legislators on drafting bills and regulations.
We co-authored and convinced the City Council to introduce, in January 1995, Intro. 509, a comprehensive environmental procurement bill. We have also submitted a companion piece addressing waste prevention practices in city agencies. After Intro. 509 was allowed to expire, a new bill, Intro. 482, incorporating many of the elements of both Intro 509 and the waste prevention practices bill, was introduced in December, 1998. Many of the provisions in these bills were approved by the New York City Council in December, 2005.
In the early 1990s the committee prepared recommendations on legislation on
a wide range of waste prevention subjects, all of which appeared in the
original DOS Solid Waste Management Plan as an appendix.
|The Commitee is chaired by Marjorie J. (Maggie) Clarke (since 1991), and Vice Chaired by Frieda Bradlow. Meetings are held every one to three months, and agenda items include everything from writing testimony on bills and budgets for the City Council, participation in Manhattan Borough President and citywide solid waste management planning task forces, drafting of bills and plans, and advocacy.|
Since waste prevention is the highest priority in the solid waste hierarchy, and has historically been all but ignored by government at all levels, the more creative minds we have to help innovate new solutions in this area, the better.
Interested in joining this noble effort?
Write to the Waste Prevention Committee
The committee can go in whatever direction its members want to take it. We will, of course, pursue City Council passage of the newly introduced City Agencies Environmental Procurement and Waste Prevention Practices legislation (Intro 482). Typically, whenever the City releases a draft Solid Waste Management Plan, our committee is called upon for expert advice and recommendations, not only by the SWAB, but also by the CRAB. The same is true at budget season, in the spring of every year. DOS has ongoing research in waste prevention conducted by SAIC, and now that the final studies have been released, we will study them further.
Other areas for committee work can include working with others besides the DOS, including the borough president, the comptroller, the public advocate, the state legislature, the NYS Legislative Commission for Solid Waste Management, and other organizations to advance waste prevention. One of the ways to do this is to modify the State's Solid Waste Management Act so that there are mandated targets for waste prevention, recycling and composting (not just unenforceable goals), so that the City must have trackable milestones for accomplishing these mandated targets in their Solid Waste Management Plans, and so that the State can better enforce the Act against municipalities that do not comply with mandated targets or their own plans. We can continue to develop and lobby for other forms of legislation on the city, state or federal level. We can develop and followup on education, outreach, and/or research ideas that might be funded by the borough president and/or others. We can work with other organizations who have a similar interest, on joint projects. We have a website that could be enlarged significantly and made useful to the public as an educational tool. The possibilities are limitless.