Zero waste laws, challenges and initiatives have been in the news for many years now. From the DSNY (Department of Sanitation, NY) Local Law 77 of 2013 to the more recent Local Law 199 of 2019, New York is trying to find ways to clean up the city and the earth. The topic of Zero Waste Buildings is becoming more and more prevalent when we talk about Harlem real estate and professionally managed residential buildings across New York City. Everyone benefits from energy savings, and the city continues to move towards additional green initiatives and carbon-neutral policies.
Zero waste, at its most basic, means refusing what isn’t needed. New York City has committed to sending zero waste to landfills by midcentury, and it’s going to take a citywide effort to meet that goal with reusing, reducing, and recycling.
Here’s how good building management can help.
Green Audits for Harlem Buildings
New York City is always updating its auditing standards, and residential buildings will need to prepare for green audits, in which the city will inspect properties to determine whether it’s using energy-efficient systems and appliances, recycling properly, and eliminating the use of unnecessary packaging and waste.
Don’t be surprised when you have to post your audit score and publicly share how well your building has adopted green initiatives. This will impact perception of your property and your commitment to energy savings and the city’s zero waste goals. Make sure your Harlem property management company has a process in place for keeping you in compliance and within the top ratings during a green audit. Begin auditing your own building and looking for potential areas of improvement before these audits are mandated.
We expect fees and fines will be imposed for buildings that have lower grades, especially if they don’t make the recommended or required improvements within the prescribed time. Don’t set yourself up for these extra costs; prepare your building now.
Controlling Waste and Costs in Harlem Properties
There are several things you can do right now to ensure your Harlem residential property is making the best use of its resources. Check the boiler. It’s likely that with better controls, the system will run more efficiently and leave you with fewer costs.
There are rebates available from Con Edison that will help you save money when you make moves towards conservation. Installing new plumbing and electrical systems, for example, will come with a rebate. New and existing buildings are eligible, and ConEd is also looking at renewable natural gas, geothermal and air source heat pumps. Customers will be further incentivized to choose more sustainable energy sources.
With cost-effective technology and even simple changes such as using LED lighting, you can upgrade your property in affordable ways and ensure you’re setting yourself up for better energy efficiency and more savings. Increasingly, buildings are turning to solar energy in an effort to drive down waste and costs.
How Zero Waste Impacts Your Building and Board
If moving towards zero waste isn’t already a goal of your co-op or condo association, it’s something worth thinking about. As we’ve discussed, the mandates are slowly showing up, and before too long, you won’t have much of a choice. Instead of being forced into expensive moves later, begin your upgrades now, while there are incentives in place and a generally cooperative mood among owners, residents, and boards. Everyone has a stake in cleaner air and water and a better environment.
We can help you make this a priority for your community or your building in the coming years. Contact our team at Harlem Property Management to talk through your options and consider all the costs and benefits.
Harlem Property Management is the authority on co-op and condo building management in Upper Manhattan and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York. We specialize in managing condos, co-ops, and multi-family buildings up to 99 units.