Buffalo Commons



Ecovillages in the Rust Belt

Joshua Swiatek — Dec 20, 2021

This policy brief shares information about Ecovillages, provides examples of 4 other Rust Belt cities with Ecovillages (Cleveland OH, Highland Park MI, Ithaca NY, and Gibsonia PA.) and describes the potential for Buffalo to develop one (or more). Ecovillages can address many inequalities in varying ways by greening vacant lots; returning ownership of vacant lots to the community; building green and sustainable communities; promoting economic development; increasing quality of life; and …

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Starting a School Recycling Program

Buffalo Recycling Alliance — Oct 20, 2017

The Buffalo Recycling Alliance compiled a list of foundational aspects and resources to start a school recycling program.

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Composting Food and Yard Waste: A Guide for Individuals, Non-Profits, and the City of Buffalo

Rebecca Mize — Oct 11, 2012

In 2010, the United States added 68 million tons of food and yard waste to landfills, accounting for roughly 34% of all municipal solid waste.  Lowering the amount of this waste in a city’s garbage saves the taxpayers money and protects the environment.  Composting is an easy and inexpensive solution.  Instead of throwing out food and yard waste, homeowners, not-for-profits, businesses and local government can reuse it to create compost, a useful product that can be …

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How to Recycle Special Items in Buffalo-Niagara

Catholic Care for Creation Committee of Buffalo — Sep 27, 2012

Alphabetized special product listing and where you can recycling it in Buffalo-Niagara.

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Recycling: an Easy Way to Save Money, Create Jobs, and Help the Environment

Catholic Care for Creation Committee of Buffalo Aug 10, 2012

The City has to pay to dispose of its garbage, but it gets paid a rebate for its recyclables.  For this reason, the City saves about $150,000 for every 3,500 tons of waste recycled, and every one percent increase in the recycling rate saves the City between $70,000 and $100,000.  That means that every time you recycle something instead of throwing it away, you’re helping to keep taxes and fees lower.

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Reshaping Buffalo's Recycling Initiatives

Sam Magavern, Lauren Schwarzenholzer — Apr 5, 2012

The city of Buffalo recycles approximately eight percent of its curbside waste per year.  This is far below the national average of 27% and pales by comparison with cities such as San Francisco, which recycles at a rate of 72%.  Within Western New York, there is also great disparity in regard to recycling.  The Town of Tonawanda, to give one example, currently recycles 13.5% of its curbside waste.

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Recycling by Businesses Creates Jobs, Saves Energy, Reduces Pollution, and…it’s the law!

Timothy Moriarty Apr 1, 2012

In accordance with state law, the City of Buffalo requires all businesses to recycle paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and some metal.  Violations are punishable by a fine between $25 and $250, and/or imprisonment for 15 days or community service.  Many local businesses may not be aware of this law, and they may not be recycling at all, or they may be recycling only some of their recyclable materials.  It’s time to spread the word about recycling, not just because …

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Recycling by Multi-Family Residences Creates Jobs, Saves Energy, Reduces Pollution, and…it's the law!

Timothy Moriarty Apr 1, 2012

Since 1996, in accordance with state law, the City of Buffalo has required all multi-family residences to recycle paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal.  Each complex must provide and maintain a recycling collection area, and occupants must then put their recyclables in the appropriate receptacles Violations are punishable by a fine between $25 and $250, and/or imprisonment for 15 days or community service.  Many property owners and managers may not be aware of this law, and …

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Reducing Disposable Bag Use

Rick Ahrens — Oct 30, 2011

Plastic shopping bags were introduced to the consumer market about 25 years ago.  Since then, they’ve become-literally-a ubiquitous part of the American landscape.  Every year, between 500 billion and one trillion disposable plastic shopping bags are consumed worldwide.  In the United States, 100 billion plastic bags are used each year, costing retailers $4 billion, which is passed on to the consumer in the price of goods.

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The Potential of Deconstruction in Buffalo, New York

Erik Faleski — Apr 1, 2007

Building deconstruction is not a novel idea but represents an ancient practice reinvented for our modern era.  Deconstruction is an environmentally friendly (yet fiscally remunerative) alternative to traditional building demolition.  Deconstruction is: [t]he process of carefully dismantling a building in order to salvage components for reuse and recycling.  Typically, a small team of skilled and licensed professionals disassemble the structure, setting aside the valuable …

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Don't Pay for your Neighbors' Garbage

Ryan Haggerty — Jan 1, 2007

The opportunities and benefits of recycling are under used in the City of Buffalo.  The city currently achieves a meager 7% diversion rate.  The rest of Erie County achieves a 42% diversion rate.  Clearly, a great deal of recyclable content is included in city household garbage.  Buffalo pays about $42 per ton of garbage it “tips” and it receives about $10 per ton of recyclable content it redeems.  Every ton of waste that households can divert from garbage …

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Integrating Deconstruction and Recycling Into the Demolition Process in Buffalo, NY

Tara Stahl — Jan 1, 2007

Buffalo’s Comprehensive Plan currently calls for the demolition of 10,000 buildings over a period of ten years.  While demolition contractors may recycle a small percentage of the waste created from demolitions, the process generates a great deal of waste that ends up in landfills.  Many of the materials that are thrown away after a building is demolished are either reusable or recyclable.  In order to lessen the negative environmental impact of building demolition, Buffalo …

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Residential Deconstruction in Buffalo: A Viable Alternative to Demolition

Sean Cooney — Jan 1, 2007

The problem of vacancy and abandonment manifests itself in many different ways.  Whether it is crime, decreasing property values, loss of tax revenue, neighborhood eyesores, or removing the condemned structures, the City of Buffalo is facing a monumental challenge both in resources and policy.  The deconstruction of abandoned homes offers opportunities for cost savings, environmental benefits, and economic development.  An alternative to demolition, deconstruction is the …

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