New York, USA – website lays waste to garbage

Good to see that some waste exchanges can work well – take a look at the website [] if you fancy setting up your own operation. reports that Mike Steffens needed 1,200 plastic tubs and knew they could be hard to get. But just by doing some research on a Web site, the executive director of the Jamaica Bay Watershed Alliance got them all – for free.

Steffens got his tubs through NY Wa$teMatch, a matchmaker of sorts that hooks up people who want to buy, sell, or give away surplus items. The group, funded primarily by the city Department of Sanitation and the Empire State Development Corp., aims to reduce the amount of waste generated in a city that is running out of space to put garbage.

Wa$teMatch is six years old, but its leaders expect a surge in customers now that it is introducing the free Web-based service used by Steffens. When Steffens, 37, realized he needed the tubs to use in a Brooklyn greenhouse that grows trees for city parks, he searched and found a listing posted by an industrial company that had excess tubs. He didn’t have to pay for the tubs, the company didn’t have to pay to get rid of them, and a match was made.

Steffens also has used the free service to acquire lumber and plastic drums. He said he would recommend Wa$teMatch to anyone. “We’ve done a number of transactions with them,” Steffens said. “They have been very helpful with looking around and finding places that have that kind of material.”

Wa$teMatch director Stefanie Feldman estimated that the program has kept 12,000 tons of material out of landfills while saving customers more than US$1.6 million. She said anything that reduces garbage has been particularly important since the closing of the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island.

“Especially since we’re in such a financial crisis, the cost of waste disposal is just continuing to grow,” Feldman said. Feldman said Wa$teMatch may get more residential customers now that the city has imposed new limits on the number of bulk items residents can dispose of curbside.

“Space is at a premium for everyone living in the city,” she said. “Bulk materials can’t just sit for that long in the bottom of the building … we offer an outlet.” The program was the brainchild of the city, but the Empire State Development Corp. has come on board as a major source of funding. ESDC spokesman Alex Dudley said he thinks the program is good for the state.

Ano da Publicação: 2003
Fonte: WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #23-2003: July 15, 2003
Autor: Kit Strange, Warmer Bulletin
Email do Autor:

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