Posted in | News | Sustainability | Recycling

Central Park to Feature More Recycling Cans for Sustainability Improvement

The Central Park Conservancy plans to nearly double the number of recycling cans in Manhattan through the addition of more than 400 cans in the Park, as part of a plan to reduce rats, improve visitor safety and increase sustainability.

Despite the number of visitors quadrupling since 1980, the Central Park Conservancy has managed to keep the Park clean by focusing on the collection of recyclables and, since 2003, reducing the Park’s waste stream by almost 40 percent. To even more effectively manage the impact of 40 million annual visitors and follow the City’s lead in enhanced recycling efforts, the Conservancy is partnering with Alcoa Inc., Alcoa Foundation and Landor Associates to expand trash management successes throughout the Park.

The new system includes the replacement of the Park’s current trash and recycling receptacles with more than 700 newly designed aluminum cans. These cans, made from 30 percent recycled aluminum donated by Alcoa Inc., are more durable than the current plastic receptacles. They were designed by Landor Associates to prevent overflow of trash and access by rats, and are a more attractive alternative to today’s plastic receptacles. Alcoa Foundation awarded the Conservancy a $500,000 grant to support the new system’s design.

“With three times as many people visiting the Park now compared to 1980, the Conservancy has to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to smart management,” said Douglas Blonsky, President & CEO of the Central Park Conservancy. “New bins in smarter locations means a more environmentally friendly, efficient collection system that helps 40 million visitors a year continue to enjoy the Park they love. We are thrilled to have the support and expertise of Alcoa Inc., Alcoa Foundation, and Landor Associates in enhancing how we manage Central Park.”

“Aluminum is the most recycled material on earth and we are proud to partner with the Central Park Conservancy on this important initiative,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa. “We will continue to look for compelling and creative ways to help individuals, public spaces and cities increase recycling rates and capture the economic and environmental value of recycling aluminum.”

“As New Yorkers and regular visitors to Central Park, we were really excited to take on the assignment of designing the new trash bins,” said Allen Adamson, managing director of Landor’s New York office, which designed the cans. “The result is a really iconic form, designed to complement its surroundings, while encouraging recycling in the Park. Using aluminum was a perfect match, giving the design flexibility and resilience we wouldn’t have had from any other material. We think we struck a nice balance here.”

The trash and recycling cans will be placed in strategic, high-traffic locations throughout the Park and removed from the centers of landscapes. Concentrating trash cans in high-traffic areas means fewer vehicles on pedestrian paths, making children’s and pets’ visit to Central Park safer than ever.

For more information on managing trash in Central Park, visit

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