1. Oyster Beds from Old Toilets
In an ongoing mission to make New York City a more oyster-friendly (and sustainable place to live), the NYC Department of Education has partnered with the Department of Environmental Protection to retrofit inefficient bathroom fixtures across schools in all five boroughs. The “Toilet Recycling Project,” detailed in the video above, replaced approximately 5,000 porcelain potties, which were crushed and used to construct an oyster reef in Jamaica Bay, as well as bioswales that collect stormwater in the city.
The DEP provided the funding for the initiative, which had a goal of retrofitting 500 New York City school buildings — an ambitious endeavor considering the fact that New York City is home to the largest school system in the United States with 1.1 million students and 1,300 facilities (many of which were constructed before the mid-1990s). According to the video, the city could eventually save four million gallons of water per day by removing 30,000 old toilets from Department of Education facilities alone and replacing them with more water-efficient fixtures.