New York City has been trying to step up its green quotient for a long while now. Be it through the construction of environment-friendly LEED certified buildings, or through the creation of more parks and green spaces like the High Line in Chelsea, New Yorkers have been seeing a lot of green. But while these measures are to be applauded, New York is still lagging behind in terms of its recycling prowess—only 15% of residential trash in the city is recycled. But this number could soon change thanks to new building mandates that are designed to bolster recycling efforts.
Crain’s New York Business reports that a new legislation, which has already been passed by the City Council, is going to require new residential buildings to set aside up to 350 square feet for recycling bins and materials, depending on the number of units in the building. This new mandate, once signed by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, is going to be in effect for new buildings that will have five or more floors and nine or more units. For buildings with refuse chutes, the new building code also requires them to reserve five square feet for recyclables, which will encourage residents of these buildings to participate more actively in recycling procedures.
These new measures are certainly going to be welcomed by New York City residents, many of whom today don’t take part in recycling efforts because of the inconvenience involved in doing the same. Many apartment buildings in the city today have recycling spaces in places like the basement and other difficult-to-reach locations, and therefore, residents often avoid taking the effort to separate recyclable materials from their regular trash. The revised building codes are therefore expected to change this mindset of many New Yorkers, which in turn will help with the city’s overall environmental objectives.
Both real estate developers and environmentalists have welcomed the new bill, which will come into effect on January 1, 2014. This is yet another step in the city’s promotion of all things “green,” and New Yorkers are certain to warm up to this measure, just as they have wholeheartedly welcomed other “green living” initiatives. New York City has already been declared as America’s leading environmentally friendly city, and these measures are simply going to solidify the city’s position as a pioneer in the field.