GSD Climate and Sustainability Group

Climate and Sustainability Group Report-March 2023

Thank you, Mary Jo Burke for sharing the Climate and Sustainability Update and to Alec Appelbaum for the update on Army Corp of Engineers Resiliency plans.

  • There is a drug take-back bin located in CVS, at the corner of Grand and Willet Streets, located near the pharmacy. Use this link for information about which drugs are accepted and which are not included for takeback.
  • The Lower East Side Ecology Center will have an electronic recycling takeback event in Thomkins Square Park on Sunday March 19th, from 10am – 2pm.
  • Precycle is hoping to open their space in Essex Market during the week of March 20th, 2023. Keep your eyes open for their booth when you’re in the Market.
  • Governor Hochul signed into law the “natural organic reduction”, or human composting, legislation. Further work will be required to regulate the activity within the state. Recompose is a company that is based in Washington State, and they currently provide human composting for anyone in the US. They work with local funeral homes to handle the death care which will facilitate transportation of the body to Recompose in Washington. Articles on the legislation from Bloomberg News, The Guardian, and SILive.
  • For information on the orange compost bins in lower Manhattan, including a link to the app, FAQs and bin locations, use this link. Bins are accessible 24/7.

The Army Corps of Engineers has produced the first iteration of a multi-stage study on how to prioritize federal funds for protecting the waterfront communities of New York and New Jersey from storm surge and sea level rise. Its favored solution is fugly and impractical, relying heavily on walls. Enter you, the citizen. If you send comments to (deadlne extended to March 31st) and include ‘Harbor and Tributaries Focus Area Feasibility Study” in your message, they promise to take you seriously, The civic activists at Rebuild by Design offer this “comment writing template” to make effective comments easy and replicable.

Folks should email Alec Appelbaum with questions or concerns. Thanks again and be well.

Climate and Sustainability Group Report – May 12, 2022

The Climate and Sustainability Committee has 3 action items:

  1. Mayor Adams suspended Curbside Compost program. The City Council introduced a bill to make it more accessible citywide. Thank Speaker Adrienne Adams for publicly supporting the bill. 
  2. The Build Public Renewables Act passed the NYS Assembly Corporations Committee. Thank our Assemblywoman, YuhLine Niou, for being a co-sponsor. 
  3. Join Weekly Hour of Action with Climate Change Makers

Climate and Sustainability Group Report – March 24, 2022

ACTION ITEMS: ADVOCATE FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT! At the City level, Chris Marte’s office helped to lead a community meeting with the Department of Sanitation (DOS) regarding composting, or the lack thereof, in our neighborhood. However, Mayor Adams is suspending rollout of the program. Therefore, no more curbside program is in the works which is contradictory to what he campaigned on. Adams claimed it’s to save money. This program is .02% of the city budget. WHAT CAN WE DO?We send a pre-written letter to Mayor Adams and City Council to share our support for the Curbside Composting program the State level, the NY State Assembly and Senate are working on the NY State budget. We need to go big and set up funding at the state level that will allow climate justice initiatives to be funded annually. WHAT CAN WE DO?CALL!! This one-click tool will connect you with New York State leadership (the Governor, Speaker, and Majority Leader), so that you can tell your leaders directly: We need to see an immediate, unprecedented commitment to climate justice funding in 2022. Script and Prompts from NY Renews

Let them know you are part of Grand Street Dems when you call
At the Federal level, we can contact our Senators to show we support passing major climate and clean energy investments that match the scale of the crisis. Even if our Senators support this, it is important to call so they can log constituents’ interest. Urge them to work with their colleagues. WHAT CAN WE DO?Here is more information and a script to follow Does calling Senators matter?
Yes. Your representatives use the number of calls they receive for or against a particular topic to decide what to focus on, and what to fight for.

Should I call even if my Senators are Democrats?
Yes. Democrats have to follow through on their commitment to pass the bill we need. 50 Democratic Senators say they want Congress to act, it’s up to us to make sure they do. Calling them will encourage them to fight harder.

Climate and Sustainability Group Report – February 17, 2022

On Tuesday, a delegate of Grand Street Dems virtually attended a lobbying visit with Yuh-Line Niou. We joined organizers with NY Renews to urge Assemblymember Niou to allocate $15 billion in the state budget to fund the big & necessary climate initiatives that have already passed (as The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act) but aren’t yet paid for.

Assemblymember Niou understands the urgency and promises to work on her end to get this budget priority through. She also requested our help to make the case. 

She urged that constituents send letters to her, our State Senator Brian Kavanagh, and Assembly Speaker Heastie explaining that funding climate legislation is important to us. The more letters they receive, the better; as they argue their budget priorities, elected officials can point to our letters as evidence of constituent support and concern.
Because budget discussions are happening now, letters should be sent before the end of day Friday 2/17 to have the greatest impact. 
We have provided the legislators’ email addresses. To make it as simple as possible, If you click on each of their email address, it will guide you to a template for you to personalize and send right away. If you prefer, there is also the same template below that you can copy and paste and is marked where to personalize. Here is a one-page fact sheet from NY Renews that you can draw from if that’s of interest.

NY Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou:
NY State Senator Brian Kavanagh:
NY Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie:

Dear {Elected official},

New York became a climate leader with the passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in 2019. But without significant funding, we risk our landmark climate justice law becoming an unfunded mandate.

I urge you to fight for $15 billion for climate in the state budget, as outlined in the Climate and Community Investment Act. Among many other initiatives, this will electrify bus fleets, support community solar, and help New Yorkers lower their energy costs. These projects and many more will get NY to our ambitious–and very necessary–climate targets. 

[Personalize with your own experience/ reason for requesting climate action] 

To ensure a future that is safer for us and the generations that follow, I hope you will work with your colleagues in the Legislature to pass $15 billion in the state budget to fund climate initiatives. 


{Your name and address to prove you are a constituent]

Climate and Sustainability Group Report – February 11, 2022
GSD co-hosted a community meeting on February 6 about composting with Council Member Christopher Marte and Department of Sanitation NY (DSNY) Curbside Composting Outreach Coordinator, Allie Gumas. To the group of 40 neighbors, Allie presented information about the Curbside Composting program – what is it, why should we participate, how we sign-up, when our neighborhood will receive service, and how we reach out for help. She also answered the many questions from those in attendance. For efficiency, routes for compost service are being added as demand becomes clear. Some of our GSD community’s buildings are already “in the queue,” ready to be incorporated when an LES route becomes established. Chris and DSNY would love to see universally available compost; this will come down to funding for the city agency. 

Chris briefly mentioned the new pilot program between Earth Matter and neighborhood NYCHA complex Smith Houses, where compost will be collected and processed on-site, allowing for people to see and participate in the compost process.