On April 22, the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) released the NYCHA 2.0 Waste Management Plan, which is a comprehensive approach to making NYCHA properties visibly clean and free of pests.

The NYCHA 2.0 Waste Management Plan includes 12 initiatives that are designed to advance the following goals:

  • Goal 1: Set positive norms and expectations
  • Goal 2: Make proper waste disposal convenient
  • Goal 3: Reduce landfill-bound trash by improving and expanding recycling
  • Goal 4: Eliminate food in garbage that attracts rodents and pests

These goals deliver on the Authority’s Sustainability Agenda to cultivate safe, clean, and connected communities and support the City’s goal to send Zero Waste to Landfill by 2030. In the spirit of Earth Day, NYCHA rolled out many of its waste management initiatives this week.

As part of this effort, NYCHA employed Public Works to engage residents on their waste management needs, practices, and priorities. Our team led a multi-pronged outreach strategy that engaged NYCHA residents at their own time, space, and pace. Our grassroots outreach approach consisted of door-to-door canvassing, tabling at community centers, facilitated conversations with residents, and one-on-one interviews, as well as a bilingual survey. We reached 221 of the 335 developments and garnered substantive feedback from 4,690 English and Spanish-speaking NYCHA residents. Findings from our outreach were ultimately used to inform the design of the new waste management initiatives. You can read our report,Trash Talk: Findings from Resident Waste Management Outreach,” which includes direct recommendations from NYCHA residents and appears as an appendix to the NYCHA 2.0 Waste Management Plan.

We enjoyed our conversations about how to improve waste management at NYCHA developments and are excited to see the impact that these changes will have on the lives of thousands of New Yorkers. We look forward to hearing about the Waste Management Plan’s progress in the next few years.


Favio German is a Manager at Public Works Partners. He builds capacity for government agencies and nonprofit organization to improve their services and outcomes.

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