Is Zero Waste Possible?
3D printing and robotics combined with the creative talent from people all over the five boroughs and the world we are able to design new and exciting products from common waste products and litter such as salvaged sea plastics, scrap wood, and bodega bags. The recycling center is a goldmine of building materials for construction, furniture, fashion, and home accessories. We're literally throwing away profits, new jobs, and creative opportunities without having a Zero Waste Initiative in place.
The goal of the Zero Waste Initiative is to create new wealth while building long-lasting, quality sustainable products and buildings using as much ucycled building materials as possible.
The NYC Time Bank will orchestrate collaborations with world famous designers to create open-source furniture, fashion, accessories, and architectural designs using common upycycled building materials to create a template that can be recreated upon order or limited production run until more upcycled materials are salvaged and processed. The NYC Smart City After School Programs will also nurture new talent providing portfolio pieces for students with successful designs who are enrolled in an entrepreneur program with royalties for business ventures.
Currently, Sweden is leading the charge in zero waste with less than 1% of household waste ever making it to the landfill while at the same time importing waste from other countries to keep their recycling centers going. Although, they are a bit overzealous when it comes to the incineration of materials that could be either recycled or upcycled into new products. This impressive effort is made possible due to a cultural mindset of Swedes who respect the environment and actively participate in the program. With a dynamic PSA, social media, and incentive strategy we can see the same sort of environmental transformation here in New York City as well.
The Zero Waste Initiative will create new wealth here in New York City and across the country and the world where Upcycle Gallery designs can be manufactured and sold in towns and cities plugging into the NYC Smart City Program and the Zero Waste Initiative. Cities opting out of a Zero Waste Initiative can pay New York City to ship their recycling to us where Upycle designers and manufacturers will upcycle the building materials for profit. These upycled building materials are valued by the hours it takes to salvage, sort, and recycle them in addition to the time it takes to design, manufacture, and deliver the product or building when being sold using NYC Time Dollars. The program in of itself is meant to become sustainable as not to rely any future city funding.
NYC Upcycle Gallery
In addition to state-of-the-art incineration equipment, the NYC Upcycle Gallery will designate safe and proper reuse for furniture, clothing, and raw building materials to be refashioned into sellable items from lower to mid-market to high end pieces sought after around the world. Other items will be processed into new building materials to create all new items completely unlike it's original purpose.
The NYC Upcycle Gallery is a division of the NYC Time Bank and will launch a prolific campaign on tv, radio, print and online publications, MTA digital walls, and billboards to provide public service announcements designed to reshape the cultural mindset of our citizens in terms of recycling, upcycling, and proper waste disposal. The NYC Upcycle Gallery will also be responsible for the collection, sorting, sanitation, and processing of waste products to be used for the design, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and distribution for new sellable upcycled products.
The NYC Time Bank will offer entrepreneur and job developing programs to create freelancers and new business owners who will comprise the team of designers, builders, marketing and sales teams, and distributors that make the Upcycle Gallery function at full capacity while remaining profitable.
These products will be sold online and at designated Upcycle Galleries located in popup locations such as parks, empty lots, and empty storefronts of participating landlords who will receive a tax credit for hosting.
Upcycle Galleries also include a Social Canteen where people can "Meet, Eat, and Learn to Cook" or simply purchase a meal using time dollars while local musicians and singers perform throughout the day and night. Only NYC Time Dollars can only be used to compensate the seller for the time it took to make the upcycled products and meals. NYC Time Dollars cannot be used to pay for actual products or food items, only for the time it took to create, deliver or serve said products. Although, these items can also be purchased online or in person using a regular credit/debit card or cash for the actual set monetary value of the items which in no way coincides with the NYC Time Dollar value.
The Upcycle Galleries will close to the public during lunch hours to serve NYC Smart City School Students who utilize the various Social Canteen locations for a Small Group Communications Class in addition to eating a healthy, organic lunch.
Water Purification and Biofuel Program
I propose that New York City converts our current waste water system to use municipal wastewater as a feedstock for algae-based biofuels, which will grow high-value strains of oil-rich algae while simultaneously removing more than 90 percent of nitrates and more than 50 percent of phosphorous from wastewater. Wastewater treatment facilities currently have no cost-effective means of removing large volumes of nitrates or phosphorus from treated water, so algae production with wastewater has the potential of solving two problems at once.
The filtered water will then be used to grow quick-growing building materials such as hemp and bamboo to also be used as biofuels and to create construction materials, paper, biofuel, plastic composites, and more.
I am also proposing that we create a rubberized bladder system that can be inflated quickly to accommodate overflow and spillage of sewage created by our current water treatment facility so it no longer gets leached into the East River. The same goes for the CoEd facility downstream to accommodate overflow and spillage of oil when things go wrong there. The goal here is to stop polluting the East River with sewage and oil which happens all too frequently.
Phase Out One Use Plastics
Although it won't happen overnight, we need to phase out one use plastics which include plastic shopping bags, plastic utensils, plastic soap dispensers, and the like. Banning these products overnight would create an economic hardship on businesses and consumers alike.
However, phasing out one use plastics by offering incentives for businesses and the consumer is the goal. For example, consumers who return plastic bodega bags, plastic utensils, soap dispensers and such can receive an NYC Time Bank credit which can be used to purchase a number of services from the Upcycle Gallery as well as the NYC Time Bank Member Directory.
This phase out policy will give the market the stimulus it needs to create sustainable alternatives for one use plastics that create new business and jobs. Building profitable solutions is the focus and zero waste is the goal.
For example, I will propose that the NYC Time Bank offer a program where people can bring their plastic shopping bags back to their stores or to an Upcycle Gallery where they can exchange the bags for NYC Time Dollars that can be traded for spa treatments, website design, photo shoots, accounting, baby sitting or eldercare, or even a cup of coffee and a healthy snack. These bodega bags will be used in the entrepreneur programs and for Upcycle Designers to create rugs, clothing, accessories, home furnishings, art, and more from this upycled building material.
Glass Bottle Beach (Dogs/Surfing)
Glass bottle can now be pulverized down to the point of being fine sand all over again. I'm proposing that we start a glass pulverizing system to create landfill for expanding Riker's Island for the animal rescue, vertical farm, and designer chicken coup show house program. The excess sand will be used to create various dog beaches and surf piers across the five boroughs. The pulverized sand can also be used in hempcrete mix for road repairs and building construction.
The Salvaged Wood Collection
Salvage all wood furniture, frames, palettes, scrap wood, and metalwork for artists and designers to upcycle into chic new pieces for sale at the Upcycle Galleries and online for US Dollars (as an expensive upscale product) and NYC Time Dollars (as the cumulation of hours it took to salvage, design, build, and ship).