Downtown Alliance Calls on Residents to Turn Food Scraps Into Clean Energy
Above: The locations of the ten composting bins in Lower Manhattan. Below: Alliance President Jessica Lappin: “Our goal is for this pilot program to grow and divert more food waste from our landfills. We’re calling on all our Downtown neighbors to help us prove that New Yorkers can embrace change and do our part to save the planet.”
With the installation of ten compost bins throughout Lower Manhattan, the Downtown Alliance, in partnership with the City’s Department of Sanitation and Brookfield Properties, has made it easier for Downtown residents to live more responsibly. The ten bins accept all forms of organic waste, including all food scraps (even meat and dairy), food-soiled paper, and house plants.
The contents of each bin are periodically collected by the Department of Sanitation, which ferries them to large-scale composting sites. Once treated and processed, the decomposed waste (which makes a nutrient-rich fertilizer) is returned to City parks and gardens. A companion program also converts some of this organic trash, using anaerobic digestion, into renewable energy, which replaces fossil fuels in generating heat and electricity.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency estimates that food scraps account for nearly a quarter of curbside waste in America. When deposited in landfills, this trash generates significant amounts of methane, a pollutant that surpasses carbon dioxide in its prodigious greenhouse effect. The Department of Sanitation (the largest municipal waste agency in the world) estimates that as much of a third of the garbage it picks up may be compostable.
“Our goal is for this pilot program to grow and divert more food waste from our landfills,” says Alliance president Jessica Lappin. “We hope to change people’s behavior. The City has a zero-waste goal and public composting is the next frontier. We’re calling on all our Downtown neighbors to help us prove that New Yorkers can embrace change and do our part to save the planet.”
The compost bins (designed by emz, an environmental technology company) are smartphone-enabled, allowing users to unlock specific receptacles through a Bluetooth connection. While the City currently hosts more than 100 community composting sites, these are available for drop-off only on specific days and hours. The Alliance program is the first in the nation to allow access any time of day or night, using a free app, eGate Digi. Food scraps and other compostable material are easily collected in a bag in an individual’s freezer, then brought to the closest bin.
The new compost bins have been installed at the following locations:
• Zuccotti Park (Southwest corner of Broadway and Liberty Street)
• One New York Plaza (corner of Broad and Water Streets)
• Platt and Gold Streets (Southeast corner)
• Maiden Lane and Pearl Street (Northwest corner)
• Cedar and William Streets (Northeast corner)
• Wall and Pearl Streets (Southwest corner)
• Rector and Washington Streets (Southeast corner)
• John and William Streets (Northwest corner)
• Bowling Green (inside the North entrance)
• Bowling Green (inside the South entrance)
This program expands and extends the Alliance’s use of technology to handle trash. In 2012, the organization launched a pilot program that put garbage and recycling bins (which that doubled as solar-powered compactors) onto local streets. There are now more than 150 of these Big Belly units throughout Lower Manhattan, collecting many hundreds of tons of refuse each year.
When it’s not conserving local ecology, the mission of the Downtown Alliance is to enhance Lower Manhattan for businesses, residents and visitors. In furtherance of these goals, the Alliance not only operates the local Business Improvement District (serving an area roughly from City Hall to the Battery, between the East River and West Street), but also provides local security and trash pickup, as well as a network of free WiFi spots. The Alliance and its sister organization, the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, also produce research, information, and advocacy designed to brand Lower Manhattan as a global model of a 21st century central business district.
Fearless Girl Statue Gets a Three-Year Reprieve
On Tuesday morning, Vittoria Fariello, an elected Democratic Party District Leader representing Lower Manhattan (and a candidate for the New York State Senate) organized a rally to support keeping the Fearless Girl statue—artist Kristen Visbal’s bronze likeness of a young female striking a jaunty, audacious pose—at its current location, near the intersections of Broad and Wall Streets.
“This beautiful statue symbolizes the resilience and perseverance of women across the world,” Ms. Fariello said. “It symbolizes women’s empowerment, gender diversity, and equal opportunity for all. And it belongs here, in New York City.” To read more…
Price of Progress
Battery Conservancy Chief Floats Plan for Pier A
Warrie Price, the president and founder of the Battery Conservancy (the nonprofit that designs, builds, and maintains, the 25 acres of historic public parkland at the southern tip of Manhattan) is proposing to adapt the abandoned restaurant space within Pier A as an embarkation point for ferry passengers bound for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
At a meeting of the Waterfront, Parks, and Cultural Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) earlier this year, Ms. Price recalled that, “at one point, a visitor center was going to be housed at Pier A, when the Fire Department left and it was at Parks.”
Launched during the height of the pandemic and hosted by James Beard Award-winning chef and New York Times bestselling author Rocco DiSpirito, this web series features chefs from Lower Manhattan restaurants cooking up signature recipes and sharing tips. All donations go directly to a food-security charity of the restaurant’s choice.
Today, cook with executive pastry chef Abby Swain from the Bar Room at The Beekman. Free
In-person screening of Suzhou River, followed by a talkback with film expert Richard Peña. Lou Ye is one of the most influential and important directors in China today. Through his films, Lou brings to light his interpretation of social issues of the marginalized in the Chinese society. One of his most important works, Suzhou River, is a tragic love story set in modern Shanghai. But rather than show off China’s glamorous “pearl of the orient,” writer-director Lou sets the film amid the chaotic factories and abandoned warehouses along the Suzhou River, which runs through the city. The film, which was never shown in China, gives us an up-close look into contemporary China’s gritty urban underbelly. $10.
Community Board 1 Quality of Life & Service Delivery Committee
1. Support for the WTC 5 Coalition – Discussion & Resolution
2. Creating Public Access to Bathrooms in Government Facilities – Discussion
3. DDC Project Updates
4. Public Safety Update
5. Changing the of the Meeting Day – Discussion
Snowbirds: A Cultural Phenomenon
Museum of Jewish Heritage
South Miami Beach is a tiny gem of Art Deco architecture, warm sun, and cool breezes. It was also the winter destination of choice for Jewish seniors during the 1970s and 80s, including many Holocaust survivors. Visual artist Naomi Harris moved to South Miami Beach to photograph the last remaining snowbirds. Her rich, colorful images from the multi-year pilgrimage are featured in her new book The Haddon Hall, which profiles bubbehs and zaidehs lounging by the pool, doing exercises, playing bingo, at the beauty parlor, and kibitzing on the veranda in the community that she made her own. Join the Museum for a program with Harris celebrating The Haddon Hall and exploring the lost world she captured with her camera. Free; suggested $10 donation.
Robby Ameen Live at the Poster Museum
52 Warren Street
Drummer Robby Ameen and bandmates present jazz at Philip Williams Posters. $20 ($10 students). Reservations 212-513-0313.
Neither Starved Nor Cold is a movement piece about identity and self-acceptance as it follows Canadian amputee dancer Lawrence Shapiro’s journey through dance. With two non-disabled performers of Heidi Latsky Dance, Carmen Schoenster and Judith Garfinkel, as his “Greek chorus”, Lawrence boldly exposes both his vulnerability and fierceness in this work. The piece challenges preconceptions of the non-normative body and creates a rich dynamic of integrated performance art. A short post performance talkback with the artists will follow the performance. $15-$20.
In-person event. Experience the Chinese literati salon inspired by ancient tradition, with an evening of classical music, poetry, calligraphy—and wine! As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to celebrate the joy of reunion in China Institute’s newly expanded space! Artists, musicians, and literature experts will perform and invite attendees to participate in an evening promoting solidarity, friendship, and culture. $10.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
Providing Companion and Home Health Aide Care to clients with dementia.Help with grooming, dressing and wheelchair assistance. Able to escort client to parks and engage in conversations of desired topics and interests of client. Reliable & Honest
78 year old refined intellectual gentleman having a passion for cruises and travel seeking a male or female caregiver/companion in exchange for all expense paid venture on the ocean. Only requirement is relationship comfort between us and ability to help with physical care regarding the limitations and restrictions of COPD.
Nadler Pushes for Federal Grant to Subsidize September 11 Museum
Congressman Jerry Nadler is pushing for a one-time cash infusion from the federal government to benefit the cash-strapped National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located within the World Trade Center complex.
During December 7 testimony before the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, Mr. Nadler voiced his support for the proposed September 11 Memorial and Museum Act (of which he is a co-sponsor), noting that, “since its dedication in 2011, the September 11 Memorial has welcomed more than 51 million visitors, including September 11th victim family members, first responders, veterans, and the public from all 50 states and 190 countries.” To read more…
Pentacle on the Plaza
Abstract Actinoid Enlivens Plaza in World Trade Center Complex
Lower Manhattan has a new piece of grand public art.. In November, Silverstein Properties (the operator of the World Trade Center complex) installed “Jasper’s Split Star,” an abstract piece by legendary artist and sculptor Frank Stella on the plaza in front of Seven World Trade Center (located between West Broadway and Greenwich Street, south of Vesey Street).
The metal-clad starburst sculpture is a reprise, of sorts, to Mr. Stella’s 1962 painting, “Jasper’s Dilemma,” which was meant as a tribute to his friend and fellow artist Jasper Johns. Six of the structure’s sides are solid aluminum, and six remain open to reveal shades of blue, purple, and gray. The star motif refers to Mr. Johns’s paintings of flags, and “Jasper’s Dilemma” contained a spectrum of closely related colors.
Lenders Who Fronted Millions to Operators of Pier A Allege Fraud
Investors who lent more than $16 million to the operators behind the shuttered restaurant at Pier A, on Battery Park City’s southern border allege that the borrowers, “used a fraudulent scheme to squeeze out of the Project all the fees and distributions for themselves that they could before shutting the doors.”
In a development first reported by property industry newsletter the Real Deal, the lenders (Tribeca-based New York City Waterfront Development Fund II) filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court in November, seeking the return of $16.5 million (the original amount of the 2011 loan, none of which has been repaid), along with $2.63 million in accrued interest, plus attorney’s fees and court costs.
The defendants in this action are a partnership between the Poulakakos restaurant family (who operate numerous Lower Manhattan eateries) and the Dermot Company (a developer of garden apartment complexes around the United States that more recently branched out to New York projects, such as the conversion of Brooklyn’s landmarked Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower into condominium residences). To read more…
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Every Wednesday & Saturday, 8am-3pm
Food Scrap Collection: Saturdays, 8am-1pm
Open Saturdays and Wednesdays year round
Schedule Changes: Market closed 12/25 for Christmas Day and 1/1 for New Year’s Day.
The loyal community of neighborhood residents who shop at the Tribeca Greenmarket show up each Wednesday and Saturday year-round to get their fix of locally grown produce, sustainably raised meat, seafood, sheep’s milk cheese and yogurt, orchard fruit and berries, herbs, live plants and cut flowers. Cooking demonstrations, raffles, and educational activities make the market a hands-on experience for shoppers of all ages.
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Green Greenmarket at Bowling Green
Broadway & Whitehall St
Open Tuesday and Thursdays, year-round
Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Compost Program: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
The Bowling Green Greenmarket brings fresh offerings from local farms to Lower Manhattan’s historic Bowling Green plaza. Twice a week year-round stop by to load up on the season’s freshest fruit, crisp vegetables, beautiful plants, and freshly baked loaves of bread, quiches, and pot pies.
Fulton Street cobblestones between South and Front Sts. across from McNally Jackson Bookstore.
Locally grown produce from Rogowski Farm, Breezy Hill Orchard, and other farmers and small-batch specialty food products, sold directly by their producers. Producers vary from week to week.
INDOOR FARMERS MARKET STORE:
91 South St., bet. Fulton & John Sts. Open Monday – Saturdays 11:30 AM – 5 PM
Indoor Market Hours: Monday – Saturday
11:30 AM to 5:00 PM, year round
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted at all farmers markets.
Setting Up House
The Church Street School for Music and Art (41 White Street) is continuing a 25-year tradition by offering Gingerbread Family Workshops on Saturdays and Sundays (11 and 12; and 18 and 19), priced at $85 for early registration or $100 on the day of the event.
To-go kits are also available to assemble at home, complete with a gingerbread house, candy, and freshly made icing. In addition to offering great holiday fun, this program is one of the most important fundraisers for the highly regarded non-profit institution that has brought enrichment to the lives of generations of Lower Manhattan kids.