Since the word got out that New York’s recycling rate has plummeted to embarrassing numbers, the Department of Sanitation has brought in a new leader with the hope of doubling the city’s rate by 2017. Ron Gonen will take on the dauting task of transforming New York’s recycling and sustainability programs — and its subsequent reputation. Gonen himself is no stranger to recycling programs, having founded the incredibly successful Recyclebank program that rewards consumers with incentives for reducing their waste.

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©Tim Tal

The Department of Sanitation will formally announce Gonen’s new position to the media this week, with hopes that it will raise the recycling morale of the city. The Bloomberg administration is relying upon Gonen to hone his years of experience in recycling and sustainability to create a plan that can meet the city’s needs. Recyclebank has proven massively successful, offering award points for restaurants and stores in exchange for recycling efforts. Gonen has also had his hand in sustainable energy, co-founding a renewable energy business that provides power to sports stadiums.

Gonen’s first step will be a simple one: providing more recycling bins in public spaces. Alongside the 25,000 garbage bins, more recycling bins will easily increase the recycling of glass and plastic bottles with New Yorkers on the go.

The Sanitation Department has implemented a compost pick up from farmer’s markets, and Gonen also plans to expand the number of public compost bins for household food waste.

Gonen plans to make recycling and composting as easy for New York households as possible. He takes his seat as the new recycling expert on May 14th.

+ Recyclebank

Via NY Times

Images via ©Tim Takemoto and ©Department of Sanitation