Global Vision | Urban Action: From the UN to the Five Boroughs

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A group of NYC, UN, and Sims staff pose together for a photo. In the center, participants hold a banner with the logo for the Global Vision | Urban Action program.
  • Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Goal 15: Life on Land
IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Two signs depicting the logos of SDG 6 and SDG 12 are propped up against a plastic partition. Behind the partition, you can see piles of recyclables waiting to be processed.
  • Bringing organics collection to all residents by 2030
  • Offering single-stream recycling (a system that means residents don’t have to sort their paper, glass and plastic recyclables into different buckets), engaging residents in waste reduction, and expanding markets for recycled materials
  • Bringing recycling service to all public housing developments and making them fully compliant with recycling laws
  • Making all public schools Zero Waste
  • Expanding opportunities to reuse and recycle textiles and electronics
  • Reducing commercial waste disposal by 90% by 2030
IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Recycling Education Center Manager Sam Silver speaks with tour participants. Behind him, you can see the East River and the Manhattan skyline.
  • Goal 4: Quality Education. This Global Goal focuses on achieving quality education for everyone around the world. With more than 10,000 visitors each year, including school children and adults, Sims plays an important role in educating the public about recycling.
  • Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Rainwater is collected and filtered so that it can be used for irrigation at Sims. Sims also uses environmentally-friendly techniques to filter stormwater before it goes into Gowanus Bay.
  • Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. During the tour, we saw the only commercial-scale wind turbine in NYC. This wind turbine, together with solar panels, provides renewable energy to power the facility.
  • Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. When Sims opened in 2013, it created 100 new jobs. Also, Silver shared a fun fact — did you know that recycling creates more jobs than land filling? By committing to zero waste, NYC is creating more jobs to achieve decent work for all.
  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. The waterfront location helps make Sims more sustainable. Most of the recyclable materials arrive at the facility by barges on the East River, instead of trucks. One barge can do the work of 100 trucks — taking those trucks off the road and eliminating 260,000 vehicle miles each year.
  • Goal 14: Life Below Water. Sims also works to improve the NY harbor. In front of the facility, you can see the top of the artificial reef. They built the reef out of recycled materials found in the river. Now, this reef is a habitat for plants, animals, and other life that call the harbor home.
  • Goal 15: Life on Land. In addition to the artificial reef, Sims has turned four acres of this 11-acre industrial site into green space. Native plants are part of the landscape design for the new green spaces.
IMAGE DESCRIPTION: An educational display highlights the wide variety of recycling jobs. A sign with the logo for SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth is propped up against the display.
IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A tour participant, left, speaks with Alex Hiniker, right, as they look out at machinery at the Sims Municipal Recycling Center.




The NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs works to foster positive relations between New York City and the international community.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Three sustainable fashion brands you can afford

Things You Need To Know Before You Hire a Waterproofing Contractor for the Basement

Wilderness rescuers brace for a busy winter

Sustainability Symbols: What are they, and why do they matter?

What’s threatening the elusive wolverine?

Call of the wild

Key takeaways from Hamburg Climate Week 2019 and SEADEVCON 2019

A message of hope in the era of climate crisis

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Global NYC

Global NYC

The NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs works to foster positive relations between New York City and the international community.

More from Medium

The Spirit of Endurance exalts Shackleton’s Leadership

What does non-extractive AgTech look like?

Transition — system change for regeneration

A primer on reading scientific studies