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Environment

Is Garbage a Product of Bad Design?

A team of architects and planners has set out to prove that heaps of waste aren’t an immutable part of a city’s topography.
Can architects engineer smart solutions to garbage pileups?
Can architects engineer smart solutions to garbage pileups?Seth Wenig/AP

New York City is an island of imported goods. The city’s main export, though, is trash.

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) heaves more than 12,000 tons of waste each day; private haulers are conscripted to lug some festering freight, too. Though some organics or recyclables are diverted, most of the debris ends up offloaded in landfills hundreds of miles away.