• 07.31.13

NYC Launches Massive, Artful Recycling Campaign

Garbage becomes art in New York’s new “Recycle Everything” project.

New Yorkers generate 11,000 tons of waste every day and 550,000 tons of it each year. That’s a lot of stinky, smelly trash. Now, in his last months as mayor, Michael Bloomberg hopes to leave a legacy of cleanliness. With the help of Grey New York, NYC has launched “Recycle Everything,” the city’s largest recycling campaign in 25 years. The goal: double the city’s recycling rate by 2017 and save tax payers $60 million yearly.


The ads feature yogurt containers, magazine covers and soda cans–all recyclable–reconstructed from a variety of other recyclable materials. Reimagined as a collage of colors and materials, the objects look less like trash and more like pop art. Each image includes a tagline like ‘Give new life to old plastic.” A plethora of brands and news outlets are participating in the campaign, like PepsiCo, Evian, Chobani, Goya Foods, and New York magazine. So rinse out your rigid plastics. At long last, they won’t be sitting in a landfill.

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.