NYC Housing Authority allegedly does not live up to its green commitment

January 03, 2013 01:30PM

The New York City Housing Authority has not lived up to its commitment to go green, the New York Times reported. Five years ago, the agency devised recycling programs and called on its residents to establish green communities in their buildings. However, residents told the Times that NYCHA has not supported efforts launched by tenants and, in some instances, blocked their pursuits.

For example, obtaining permits and funds needed to plant gardens at the Manhattanville Houses up in Harlem took one woman nearly three years. Still, she and those with whom she worked on the project had to get $3,000 from the non-profit the Citizens Committee for New York City for supplies.

A bigger concern is that of recycling, which other residents told the Times the agency has discouraged. Over half of the city’s public houses don’t have recycling bins. Margarita Lopez, a NYCHA commissioner, told the Times that recycling is low due to trash chutes in NYCHA properties, which the Times said makes disposal easier. “We have no choice but to encourage people to bring the recycling down to the first floor of buildings,” she told the Times.

However, a Mott Haven Houses resident tried bringing a recycling plan to fruition, but NYCHA did not let the initiative develop. Lopez said that strangers knocking on doors creates a concern for security and leaving recycling piles in building hallways creates a fire hazard. [NYT]Zachary Kussin