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Written by Ana Martínez de Luco

January 10, 2019

We have been revitalized, re-charged and re-energized by the recyclers’ gathering we participated in in October 2018, in Buenos Aires. Thanks to the organizers, the hosts, the fund searchers, and all the participants! The 2020 Recyclers’ Congress is something to dream about and long for during the coming year.

Back at home in New York City, we are facing challenges with the space we use for our operations. The lease ends at the end of January 2019, and the owner wants to sell it. Sure We Can has the ‘option to buy’ (priority to buy it), but the price ($ 3 million) is not at all doable for us. We are knocking on all possible doors. Thanks to this challenge, we have contacted groups like the New Economy Project; groups that could be good partners for many other areas and concerns during the year ahead.

We had been in conversations with our District Councilman, Antonio Reynoso, regarding the space problem. In the past few weeks we scheduled two appointments with him, and both were cancelled at the last minute. We were preparing data about the importance of our service to the City (Reynoso is the Chair of the Sanitation Committee of NYC City Hall). In the process of waiting, we discovered a great study published this December: Employment and Economic Impact of Container Deposits. (This study will be in Eunomia’s web very soon to download for free). The study gives reliable data of the economic impacts at present (see chart), but also predicts greater impacts with a modernized system. Modernized means an expansion of the scope: to include other recyclable containers that currently don’t have a deposit, and to increase the deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents, among others.

Eunomia had opened their first USA office in NYC; and Sarah Edwards, the CEO of the new office, is more than willing to join us for the meeting with Reynoso. In this way, despite our initial frustration, it was GOOD they postponed our meeting two times. Now, Sarah will be able to come with us to the meeting which has since been re-scheduled for January 7. A very much-needed partnership (for data gathering, analysis, policymaking and advocacy) has started.

“This is both an exciting and challenging time to start trading in the USA. Despite federal government inaction, states, cities, businesses and grassroots organisations will continue to drive positive environmental change. We look forward to working with them to deliver sustainable long term solutions.” (Sarah Edwards)

Last December 14, 2017, a graduate student from New York University presented his final project: a photo essay about Sure We Can’s reality. Hence, this time we have good pictures to share with all of you!