Waste Management Extraordinaire: Compost Islands In New York City

We already knew that New York City had huge problems with managing trash for some 8.3 million residents: there is little or nothing left nearby in the way of landfills for trash disposal. Present Architecture and the Green Loop project features a very appealing solution for managing part of the city’s trash, the organic kind. Create compost islands that can be used to grow food and produce anaerobic energy.

This is not an easy or quick fix for this massive disposal problem, and a good number of naysayers are sure to surface. The thinking, however, is brilliantly refreshing, as are some of the renderings. Read more below about the Green Loop project and let us know what you think.

PRESENT Architecture - Green Loop 1 - Aerial - Margins

New York City produces over 14 Million tons of trash every year with most of it trucked long-haul to out-of-state landfills. In a typical year, we spends more than $300 million dollars on trash transport while incurring a hefty environmental bill along the way.

We send trucks millions of miles every year, creating traffic, noise pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. All of this so that our waste can be landfilled, where it then rots and creates even more greenhouse gas. It’s a big, dirty problem.


PRESENT Architecture - Green Loop 2 - Farming - MARGINS

The Green Loop is a composting hub and park, and part of a larger proposal for a network of ten waterfront composting hubs in New York City.

The Green Loop has a street-level composting facility with an elevated public park on top that’s large enough to accommodate anything from educational facilities and neighborhood gardens to cross-country skiing in the winter. New York City has less open space per person than almost every major city in the country, and the Green Loop alleviates two major urban problems at once.

Locating a network of Green Loops along New York City’s 520 miles of waterfront addresses three important planning issues. First, it takes advantage of the City’s existing transportation infrastructure. Trucks deliver waste a short distance to a borough composting hub, with barges and rail transporting finished compost product away. 

Read the entire idea at Present Architecture. We offer our congratulations for this brilliant idea and look forward to watching it progress. Solutions like this cannot come soon enough.