Under Cover, Week of Nov. 19, 2015



For most people, the term “silver bullet” means a solution that is sure to fix a problem.

But for the Dept. of Sanitation, a “silver bullet” is a very expensive trashcan — $1,200 bucks a pop — that is being put out throughout the city to encourage public recycling.

The body is silver, with the color of the top indicating which type of waste it’s for: black for garbage, green for paper, and blue for plastic and metal, according to Iggy Terranova, a community officer for the Dept. of Sanitation.

But the silver bullets didn’t solve the city’s problem in recycling street trash. New Yorkers apparently can’t be bothered to follow the color code.

“It really doesn’t matter what color I put out there or how many cans I put out, people don’t seem to understand the concept of recycling,” Terranova explained to Community Board 1 recently. “So they’re putting everything in everything in everything — it doesn’t matter,” he said.

Terranova said the program has been scrapped because the department decided it was a waste of money.

The future of the River Project at Pier 26 looks about as murky as the Hudson River itself.

Details of the organization’s possible involvement with the pier’s planned estuarium — an “aquarium of the estuary” with a research and education component — have trickled out ever since the pier was closed and then rebuilt in 2009, but it’s hard to figure out what’s actually going on.

Reports this month that the popular non-profit, which now sits upstream at Pier 40, would be a partner in the project were harpooned at a recent meeting of CB1’s Tribeca committee, where the Hudson River Park Trust’s Noreen Doyle said no agreement has been inked yet.

“From the get-go, we told Clarkson [University, the estuarium’s main operator] that we wanted to find a role for the River Project,” she told the committee members. “Those discussions are still happening, and we are trying to figure out basically what can fit in the breadbox that is not even designed yet.”

Clarkson, with its two partners, the New York Hall of Science and the Hudson River sloop Clearwater, were selected by the trust last year to run the estuarium, but many long-time locals have been pushing for the River Project, a Tribeca institution which ran the original estuarium at the site years ago, to be involved as well.

Its founder, Cathy Drew, said after Tuesday’s CB1 meeting that she wasn’t sure they would want to be a part of it – since the final shape of the science center isn’t even clear yet.