Expanding Plastics

This post comes to you from the Broadway Green Alliance
Expanding Plastics

Mayor Bloomberg at the press launch of Broadway Goes Green.

Mayor Bloomberg at the press launch of Broadway Goes Green.

by Noah Aberlin

Get ready to add all rigid plastics to your recycling bin-

NYC has expanded the residential recycling stream.

On April 24th Mayor Bloomberg announced that NYC will now recycle all rigid plastics. These newly included items go in the same clear bag or blue bin where all glass, metal, aseptic packaging (juice boxes, soy milks), and plastic bottles currently go.

Rigid plastics include yogurt cups, toys, hangers, cookie tray inserts, plastic cups, food containers, and more. Bloomberg said at a press meeting, “Starting today, if it’s a rigid plastic – any rigid plastic – recycle it…This means that 50,000 tons of plastics that we were sending to landfills every year will now be recycled and it will save taxpayers almost $600,000 in export costs each year.”

This announcement coincides with the development of the new recycling plant being built by the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn, which will be the largest household recycling plant in North America. Because it takes 70 percent less energy to make plastic from recycled plastics instead of raw materials, it’s going to help further reduce the city’s carbon footprint. New York City will not only become more sustainable but will also create 100 jobs at the new plant. Plus, it will be powered by one of the largest solar installations in the city.

Keep a lookout for new recycling decals and posters that should be mailed to residences soon and remember it is recommended that New Yorkers should rinse out all containers before sorting them in recycling bins. While these new rules do not effect commercial recycling (i.e.: at the theatres) they do include the new Solar Big Belly public recycling bins that have been sited around town. There are 30 in the Times Square area so please seek them out and use them.

To recycle plastic bags, many supermarkets and drug stores have special collection bins. Film plastic (plastic wrap) does not recycle.

For more information and a detailed list of all recyclable materials visit


The Broadway Green Alliance was founded in 2008 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) is an ad hoc committee of The Broadway League and a fiscal program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Along with Julie’s Bicycle in the UK, the BGA is a founding member of the International Green Theatre Alliance. The BGA has reached tens of thousands of fans through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other media.

At the BGA, we recognize that it is impossible to be 100% “green” while continuing activity and – as there is no litmus test for green activity – we ask instead that our members commit to being greener and doing better each day. As climate change does not result from one large negative action, but rather from the cumulative effect of billions of small actions, progress comes from millions of us doing a bit better each day. To become a member of the Broadway Green Alliance we ask only that you commit to becoming greener, that you name a point person to be our liaison, and that you will tell us about your green-er journey.

The BGA is co-chaired by Susan Sampliner, Company Manager of the Broadway company of WICKED, and Charlie Deull, Executive Vice President at Clark Transfer<. Rebekah Sale is the BGA’s full-time Coordinator.

Go to the Broadway Green Alliance

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PUBLIC ART and LEED – Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality

This post comes to you from Green Public Art

continued from… PUBLIC ART and LEED – Energy & Atmosphere


Recycled Content – should be self explanatory. Use post-industrial or post-consumer recycled materials

Regional Materials –means all materials used in a project are sources within 500 miles of project site

rendering of Erwin Timmers recycled glass artwork

Construction Waste Management – To earn a credit in Construction Waste Management the project must Divert construction waste from landfills towards recycling or reuse.

rendering of Didier Hess' Orit Haj

Example: The artist, Erwin Timmers, dug through the site demolition to remove glass for this 30 feet long by 9 feet high artwork. The recycled glass was then melted down and recast into the new colorful forms.

Example: Didier Hess’ Orit Haj will incorporate rammed earth from excavation of interpretive center, stainless steel rod, concrete and concrete fiberboard scraps from building construction.

Rapidly Renewable Materials – are natural materials that regenerate in less than 10 years, like bamboo, straw, cork, natural linoleum products (such as Marmoleum), wool, wheatboard, and strawboard.

Certified Wood – And you can use wood if it is a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood product.


Low-Emitting materials – If artwork will be indoors the material must have Low or no VOC (volatile organic compound) content.

And projects should enhance the Daylight & Views

The conversation continues here: PUBLIC ART and LEED – Innovation & Design


Rebecca Ansert, founder of Green Public Art, is an art consultant who specializes in artist solicitation, artist selection, and public art project management for both private and public agencies. She is a graduate of the master’s degree program in Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California and has a unique interest in how art can demonstrate green processes or utilize green design theories and techniques in LEED certified buildings.

Green Public Art is a Los Angeles-based consultancy that was founded in 2009 in an effort to advance the conversation of public art’s role in green building. The consultancy specializes in public art project development and management, artist solicitation and selection, creative community involvement and knowledge of LEED building requirements. Green Public Art also works with emerging and mid-career studio artists to demystify the public art process. The consultancy acts as a resource for artists to receive one-on-one consultation before, during, and after applying for a public art project.
Go to Green Public Art

Off-Pipe With A Little Night Soil Music

by Lydia Breen
Composting Toilet

OK, folks., it’s time to tackle this subject head on.  Trailer Trash needs a toilet.   This may be a hard sell, but try to stick with us, because we are asking for your help.

The Trailer Trash Project is committed to creating a green space to live and perform art.  We want to conserve water and fuel and recycle whenever we can.  Or goal is to keep as much stuff as possible out of our landfills, oceans, rivers and lakes.A composting toilet was added to our wish list when we started thinking about the trailer’s design. When it came to holding tanks for water, we had to figure out our daily water needs.  That led us to wonder: What’s the use of a big expensive holding tank when most of that water would just get flushed down a toilet and sent into the sewer?  We thought why not use a toilet that requires no water at all?”

Help Trailer Trash Get A Super Green Toilet CLICK HERE to donate $10

Nature’s Head will sell us a composting toilet at a reduced price ($500 vs. $875).  We can get there if  50 people donate $10 through our Indie GoGo campaign.  Donate $20 and we’ll send you a copy of philosopher-farmer Gene Logsdon’s smart and irreverant Holy Shit.  Here is an interview with Logsdon on WBUR’s Here and Now: “Farmer Calls For Managing Manure to Save Mankind”.


The C.K. Choi building is widely recognized as a model of sustainable design

In case you think we are a bunch of extreme tree huggers, take a look at some of the organizations that have composting toilets:


  • Bronx Zoon (NYC)
  • Queens Botanical Garden (NYC)
  • C.K. Choi Building  (Vancouver)
  • Southface Eco Office (Atlanta, GA.)
  • Dufferin Grove Park ( Toronto)
  • Eco Dorm, Warren Wilson College (NC)
  • Neptune Elementary School (NJ)

…and lots of nature centers, trails, etc.

To see the system in action, check out this video made by the Bronx Zoo. Their system is designed for 500,000 uses a year.  They are also using the toilets to inform users with conservational messages.

Now, we’re getting down to brass tacks.  From what I read the toilets don’t smell (a vent fan should be kept running at all times).  Some people have told me that the toilets have a faintly earthy smell, like mushrooms.  O.K., I’m prepared to adjust to that.  But what about emptying the liquid and solid waste?  And where will I put it?

I admit, it will probably take me a little while to get used to this part.   Liquid waste will have to be emptied once or twice a week and dumped into a proper compost bin. The solid waste will require emptying less often and can also be dumped on a proper compost head.

I’m getting inspired and informed by two great, but very different books.  Gene Logsdon’s Holy Shit and  Joseph Jenkins’ Humanure Handbook, which Trailer Trash will review in an upcoming post.

Trailer Trash is a member of Fractured Atlas; donations are tax-deductible to the extent permissible by law. Your comments and donations are welcome.

Links: The Guardian  UK:  Humanure:  the end of sewage as we know it? Time Magazine:  Goodbye Toilets, Hello Extreme Composting Tree Hugger:  Vancouver Office Building Goes Off-Pipe National Geographic: Urine Battery Turns Pee Into Power ——–

Lydia Breen has written and made films about refugees, immigrants and displaced people for more than 30 years.  She has filmed on-location in refugee camps and war zones in more that 30 countries in all world regions.  In 2005 she left her New Orleans home in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and was never able to return.  When the Trailer Trash Troupe is not using the Spartan,  Lydia will live stay in it and write about living small and green in difficult economic times. Her permanent home is a 1972 Aristocrat trailer that occupies less 100 square feet.

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from as part of our CSPA Supports Program.