By Mark Hallum
Second-hand goods do not generally come to mind at the mention of the Department of Sanitation. But the city agency recently announced the launch of donateNYC, an online medium for New Yorkers to give and find goods as well as reduce the amount of garbage which ends up in landfills.
The donateNYC website and app make it easy for residents to search by material and location for the things they need. It even operates on a larger scale. For city non-profits in need of goods, they can search donateNYC, and businesses can participate by donating to the program. Non-profits, including thrift stores, clothing banks, social service providers, creative arts programs and community-based reuse programs, can partner with donateNYC.
“Each year New Yorkers throw out nearly six million tons of waste. However, much of what is thrown away can actually be used again,” Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said. “By donating and reusing goods instead of discarding them, New Yorkers can greatly reduce waste and conserve energy, resources and money. DonateNYC will help us reach our goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030, a target included in Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan.”
Formerly known as PlanNYC, OneNYC is a multi-faceted approach started in 2015 to make the city a more sustainable place to live over the next few decades through reduction of light pollution to flood mitigation and donations of reusable goods.
“As New York City contends with the challenge of combating climate change, PlanNYC has been an integral component in outlining our vision to become a truly sustainable city,” said Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection and co-chair of the OneNYC Advisory Board. “Locally,southeast Queens residents will finally see long- and short-term mitigation measures in their neighborhoods to address flooding along with other expected courses of action to respond to concerns in low-and middle-income neighborhoods.”
According to Sanitation, donateNYC will reduce the amount of waste which goes to landfills in quantifiable ways so the city can assess progress toward its 2030 goal. In 2015, a similar program known as ReuseNYC diverted 40 million pounds of material from landfills to non-profit partners to the program. This also led to a reduction in 60,000 tons of carbon emissions.
Partner organizations served more than 1.3 million New Yorkers through family services, housing and sheltering, health care, workforce development and food bank programs.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall