John McEnrue is the Vice President for Site Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer at The New York Botanical Garden.
Earlier this summer NYBG received the American Public Gardens Association’s Operational Sustainability Award in Washington, D.C., recognizing The New York Botanical Garden as having the premier commitment to sustainable operation relative to its peers throughout the nation.
Across the grounds, NYBG continues to make strides in waste reduction. The most significant was eliminating single-use plastic beverage containers system-wide this summer in both public and staff locations. We were able to do this by either enhancing existing water fountains to include personal bottle filling adapters, installing new bottle filling stations, or replacing the commonly used five-gallon inverted water filling stations with filtered stations that tap into New York City’s internationally renowned clean water supply. Our food vendor, in concert, agreed to no longer sell single use plastic bottled water and, in turn, replaced it with metal refillable water containers.