Could NYC Get Giant, Floating Compost Islands?
New Yorkers generate so much trash that the city has enough to pile onto huge islands, where it could be turned into gardening soil. At least, that’s the big green idea being proposed by a local architecture firm.
The New York City-based firm Present Architecture, led by Andre Guimond and Evan Erlebacher, recently put forward a project called Green Loop that calls for a network of 10 “waterfront composting hubs.” Each hub would contain an extensive composting facility underneath green space for the public. Hat tips to Grist and Gizmodo.
The island-like hubs wouldn’t actually be built on piles of trash. Instead, each one would conceal a large composting facility tied into a city-wide curbside collection program. Guimond and Erlebacher imagine the hubs would help mitigate the 14 million tons of trash the city hauls out annually. Altogether they’d process 30 percent of residential waste.
I appreciate the proposal’s principles. Hard to say no to less trash and more public green space for gardening, playing, learning and even cross-country skiing in the winter. While it might seem far-fetched, the architects point out that there’s already a pilot composting program in New York. And once you start composting regularly it becomes second nature.
But the proposal could be a hard sell. As Gizmodo’s Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan pointed out, garbage island ideas aren’t new. And yet they still don’t dot our landscapes. But I do think if the city can show that a demonstration Green Loop will be successful, maybe there’s a chance to hit pay dirt.
Image: A rendering of the Green Loop, a composting hub and park. Credit: Present Architecture.