• Projects

Iterating zero waste programs with New York City public schools

“Young people and public schools are two of our best partners in creating a sustainable New York.”
– Steven Costas, Acting Commissioner of NYC Department of Sanitation


3×3 served as the workshop designer, developer, and facilitator for the New York City Department of Sanitation, Department of Education, and GreeNYC to align stakeholders and identify opportunities for improvement to the Zero Waste Schools Program after a pilot rollout at over 100 schools throughout NYC.

Community-centered approach

– Desk research on the program’s evolution and existing offerings
– Stakeholder questionnaire and guided discussions
– Co-design workshop


– Small-group facilitation with participation from three City agencies
– Inclusion of sanitation and janitorial staff in the research, strategy, and visioning process  (stakeholders commonly excluded or under-represented from programmatic decisions)


– Comprehensive program evaluation and design, including design of process improvements and metrics for monitoring success, and milestones for re-evaluating roles and responsibilities for successful ongoing operations and management

– Synthesis of profiles of key program staff and supporting personnel critical for program success, including identifying the need for incentives for janitorial staff to take on additional responsibilities and for ambassador groups to bring students and teachers together as advocates

Project team

Megan Marini, Karine Sarkissian