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Rapid Re(F)use Initiative Could Turn New York’s Trash Into New Islands


terreform-rapid-refuse-6A new initiative called Rapid Re(F)use has an aim to recycle and reuse New York’s waste by turning it into various structures and islands instead of sending it to landfills. Supported by Mayor Bloomberg, the project is set to aid the city council handle the 12,000 tons of waste produced by the city each day.

Rapid Re(F)use is a project proposed by the NYC-based architecture company Terreform. Following the method that was used during the construction of the Battery Park City out of the excavated debris of the World Trade Center, Terreform plans to use industrial robots to extend the city’s shoreline.

If the initiative gets the green light, the trash from landfills might just become more valuable than previously thought. We can expect new islands and new buildings constructed solely from compressed reused material. Even the robots that will do the job will be built out of existing industrial waste compaction devices.

Terreform estimated that the trash already dumped in landfills is already sufficient to construct seven new islands the size of Manhattan. The ultimate goal is to make no distinction between the city and the trash that it produces.

There is one small limitation of this brilliant idea. Rapid Re(F)use was introduced back in 2010, so the proposal will have to be modified according to the changes that have occurred over the past few years. New requirements such as storm surge protection will definitely have to be taken into account before any building process begins.

(Editor’s note: This garbage pile in the picture above reminds me of Wall-E.)

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