Design Guidelines for Zero Waste

Design Guidelines for Zero Waste

March 22, 2017, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Level 1 1C04


New York City’s OneNYC plan, released in April 2015, outlined a bold goal of sending zero waste to landfill by 2030. This goal will bring multiple positive benefits to the city – from decreasing emissions to safer streets and better public spaces, but is a difficult target to reach.  Kiss + Cathcart, Architects, along with ClosedLoops, the Foodprint Group and the AIANY, are developing Design Guidelines for Zero Waste to help NYC achieve its OneNYC goals.

Current waste diversion rates are around 15%, and have not changed in the last year. Although there are many citywide initiatives that aim to improve this, logistical issues at the building scale are one critical factor that have not yet been addressed. Architects do not consider waste management when designing new buildings, and there is no city review process or design guideline in place.
This presentation will report back from the Commercial workshop which will be held in March 2017 and will reflect the expertise of DSNY, DCP, AIA, architects, developers, building managers, superintendents and more. It will showcase the issues that managers of commercial and mixed use buildings face in separating their waste for maximum diversion and recycling. Best practice options to retrofit existing buildings and design new developments to increase diversion, and reduce waste will be discussed. The session will cover the key issues and best practices that will be core to  NYC Zero Waste Design Guidelines. We will share lessons learned in other cities, provide case studies on multiple building types in NYC, and show some of the graphic concepts intended for the design guidelines.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand DSNY's plan to achieve the OneNYC goal of zero waste to landfill by 2030
2. Understand the building logistics issues that existing commercial buildings face which makes it difficult to fully divert all possible waste.
3. Learn retrofit possibilities that can increase diversion of waste.
4. Understand how to plan waste management spaces for new commercial buildings to maximize waste diversion.
5. Understand DSNY rules and plans for organics collection, and how a building can best plan to separate their organics.


  • Clare Miflin


    Associate Principal

    Kiss + Cathcart Architects

    Clare Miflin, AIA, Leed AP BD+C, Certified Passive House Designer Clare Miflin has worked at Kiss and Cathcart, Architects since 2000 - a firm well...

  • Christine Grace


    Principal and Food Systems Consultant

    Foodprint Group

    Christina Grace is the founder of Foodprint Group - a food systems planning consultancy with expertise in organic waste reduction and management at...


  • Powerpoint 2.91 MB

    Design Guidelines for Zero Waste

    May 01, 2017


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