Monday, November 16, 2009

Recycle Batteries and Cell Phones at Brooklyn Greenmarkets

The Eagle received the following press release:

Beginning this week, the Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC) is placing collection boxes to recycle old rechargeable batteries and cell phones at select Greenmarket farmers markets across the city.

CENYC has joined the Recyclable Battery Recycling Corporation’s (RBRC) national Call2Recycle program which will help NYC residents conveniently recycle their cell phones and portable rechargeable batteries. All of the materials collected through the Call2Recycle program are recycled and used to create other types of materials, including new batteries and scrap metal. None of the material broken down from the recycling of rechargeable batteries and cell phones makes its ways into landfills.

Residents can now easily recycle these items at eight Greenmarket locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Collection boxes will be available at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket (the northwest entrance to Prospect Park) on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“By participating in the Call2Recycle program, we’re able to conserve natural resources and at the same time prevent harmful materials from entering our landfills,” said CENYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. “This program is one of the ways we help New Yorkers recycle better, reuse more, and reduce waste.”

Rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, cordless power tools, two-way radios, camcorders, digital cameras, and a variety of other portable electronic products. When the battery can no longer hold a charge, it can and should be recycled. In fact, with the implementation of Local Law 97 of 2005, it has been illegal for NYC resident to discard rechargeable batteries in the trash since December 2006. The average American cell phone user has a total of 3 or more cell phones and 6 cordless electronic products in their possession.

“Community participation is a crucial part of our program because it puts us in touch with the public,” says Carl Smith, RBRC President. “Communities like New York City are helping to make rechargeable battery and cell phone recycling a reality, and that’s great for the environment.”

“We’ve seen how textile recycling programs at our farmers markets are a success and we are thrilled to add rechargeable batteries and cell phones to the list of materials we collect for recycling,” said Greenmarket Director Michael Hurwitz. “Our Greenmarkets are becoming the go-to resource for sustainable living—with many offering compost collections, textile recycling, and other community-based activities.”

In addition to cell phones and rechargable batteries, CENYC also collects unwanted clothing at 8 Greenmarket locations. Through its clothing and textile recycling program, CENYC has diverted nearly 500,000 pounds of textiles from the landfill.

For more information, visit

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Edible Schoolyard Program Coming to Gravesend School

Pictured here is a rendering of an organic garden and greenhouse coming to P.S. 216 in Gravesend as part of the Edible Schoolyard program started by renowned chef Alice Waters. P.S. 216 will be the first New York City school to participate in the program, which first began in San Francisco in 1995.

Students in the program will plant, harvest, prepare food and eat together, which will tie into a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum involving science, math, social studies and the arts. Part of what is now an asphalt-covered yard at the school will be converted into a quarter-acre organic farm, a kitchen classroom, and a mobile, four-season greenhouse. Funds are now being raised for construction, hoped to start in June 2010.

Read the full story about the project by Eagle writer Phoebe Neidl here.

Image courtesy of WORK Architecture Company

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Make Your Own Reusable Bags at Etsy Labs

Tonight, at the Etsy Open craft Night at Etsy Labs (55 Washington St., suite 512, in DUMBO), sew reusable bags with Bags for the People — a non-profit organization that provides the public with a sustainable alternative to plastic bags — and Katherine Bell, author of Quilting for Peace. Stop by anytime from 4 to 8 p.m. for the bag making tutorial. If you can’t make it, you can watch the tutorial online at 5 p.m. Here is more information on tonight's event.

Bags for the People and Etsy will team up again next weekend for the first annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off Benefit. On Sunday, Nov 22 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., at SPACECRAFT (355 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg), sample homemade pies and home brewed beer from Brooklyn Brews. There is a $10 entrance fee that will go to support Bags for the People. This event is sponsored by Brooklyn Based and Etsy. For information on how to enter the bake-off, click here.

Pictured above is Glenn Robinson, one of the founders of Bags for the People, sewing bags at the Green Brooklyn... Green City fair in September.

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