The Sanitation Foundation Launches First of Its Kind ‘Zero Waste Academy’

The Sanitation Foundation Launches First of Its Kind ‘Zero Waste Academy’

Free educational series designed to inform New Yorkers about waste and how to reduce it



The Sanitation Foundation, the official nonprofit of the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is launching a new program designed to provide NYC residents with free education and training in how individuals and communities can support the city’s goal to send zero waste to landfills. This program will increase awareness and understanding of the environmental, social and economic impacts of waste management.


Running from May 8 through May 27, the Zero Waste Academy will consist of nine virtual training modules developed and taught by high-level experts on waste in New York City. The curriculum includes the history of waste management and current waste systems in NYC; the social, environmental and economic implications of waste and pollution; best practices for living a less wasteful lifestyle; and how to implement community and city-based solutions. Additional “virtual field trips” will also be offered to supplement the training modules, to offer a glimpse of how state-of-the-art recycling facilities operate in the New York area. 


Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion and be equipped with the knowledge and resources to create change in their own lives and communities. The final module will connect participants with practical ways to actively solve the problems of waste, such as joining their borough’s Solid Waste Advisory Board, volunteering to support the NYC Compost Project and becoming a zero-waste TRUE Advisor.


“The Sanitation Foundation’s mission is to advance the city’s zero-waste agenda, and we find over and over again that New Yorkers want to help create a more sustainable city but don’t always know how,” said Julie Raskin, Executive Director of the Sanitation Foundation. “Our goal with the Academy is to deputize a group of New Yorkers to become zero-waste experts, who can then go into their communities and continue to bring about change.”


“New Yorkers throw out 12,000 tons of waste every day, the majority of which ends up in landfill – remember, there’s no such place as away,” said Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability at the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY). We continue to grow programs and services to reduce and divert waste, yet not enough residents take full advantage of these resources. The Zero Waste Academy is an important building block in our efforts to engage more New Yorkers in the important work of waste diversion.”


The program is supported with funding from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute’s (NYSP2I) Community Grants Program, which provides nonprofits with financial and technical assistance for projects that advance pollution-prevention practices at the community level. “Moving towards a zero-waste future will require community-level commitment and innovative actions”, said Charles Ruffing, Director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute. “The Sanitation Foundation’s Zero Waste Academy will establish a network of community leaders in waste reduction and provide training on meaningful steps they can take.  NYSP2I is pleased to support this program.” 


 For more information and to apply to join the Academy, visit Applications will be open through April 30th. Capacity is limited.


About the Sanitation Foundation


The Sanitation Foundation, founded in 2016, is the official nonprofit organization of the New York City Department of Sanitation. Supported by private funding and in-kind donations, the Foundation leverages non-traditional strategies to promote sustainability and advance the essential services of Sanitation employees.

The Sanitation Foundation is supported, in part, by grants from The New York Community Trust, Con Edison, NYC Service, Robin Hood Foundation, and the Closed Loop Foundation. We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all donors and friends of the Sanitation Foundation, who make our programs possible. 


About the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute


NYSP2I is led by the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). NYSP2I is a partnership between RIT, Binghamton University, Clarkson University, Cornell University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The institute also works with the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help disseminate data and strategy.


NYSP2I’s goal is to make New York State more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment, and the economy through pollution prevention. Pollution prevention means reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of nontoxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and reusing materials rather than throwing them away.


Funding provided by the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.


Any opinions, findings, and/or interpretations of data contained herein are the responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions, interpretations or policy of Rochester Institute of Technology and its NYS Pollution Prevention Institute or the State.

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