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Times Square Deposit Banks

These public space recycling bins lent dignity to people struggling to afford living in NYC.

With the slogan,

"everyone deposits, anyone redeems"

these blue and purple Deposit Banks invited people to take and cash in the empty bottles and cans deposited by pedestrians in Times Square.

Times Square Deposit Banks were designed to be easily opened and emptied from a convenient height on lamp posts. These "self-emptying" bins were Modern World Design's concept and developed for the Times Square Business Improvement District.

Eight bins were located along the Crossroads of the World at Broadway and West 42nd Street from 1993-95.

Times Square Deposit Banks captured about 70% of the bottles and cans tossed out in Times Square. They were included were New York Public Library's exhibit on "Garbage, the History of Sanitation in NYC" and included in international magazines like Nikkei Design and I.D. and in The NY Daily News, they did not make it past the pilot project stage.

The prototypes were made from 20% post-consumer recycled plastic, including Yemm & Hart's Confetti board and re-purposed Rubbermaid trash cans.

Waste in NYC

Up until 95, NYC was making good progress toward mandated recycling and waste prevention goals, then things slowed down. Public space recycling bins disappeared from NYC's streets as City policy shifted.

Sadly, due to lack of respect for resources, our failure to reduce, reuse and recycle costs us more each day.

In 2001, NYC's last landfill, Fresh Kills, closed after growing even bigger than the Great Wall of China! Where does our daily 26 million pounds per day go now? Why do we waste so much?

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Did you know more energy is consumed to
make paper than to make glass or steel?
The Green Apple Map has more on
our garbage crisis, too.

Wendy's experience with the Deposit Banks and other waste-prevention projects for the Times Square BID and as a citizen member of the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board's Waste Prevention committee led her to guest-teach a public space recycling bin design class at Pratt Institute (with Lisa Smith, 94), and to be selected as a juror for the recycled/renewable International Design Resources Awards (96, 97 and 2001).

Wendy has consulted on the use of recycled materials, part of her continual involvement with sustainable design. Waste reduction, reuse and recycling has appeared on every NYC Green Apple Map that she has created, as seen at GreenAppleMap.org. In late 2006, Worms in the Green Apple, a map charting composting in Manhattan was published by Green Map System and the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Surprisingly popular, the first printing was completely distributed within a couple of months, and plans for an update and reprint are being made. Currently, you can download a PDF of this map and perhaps in later 2007- view an interactive version of this map, citywide.

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