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Gowanus pop-up dumpsters that served as tree planters will get new life in Industry City

The dumpsters were part of the 2,000 Gallons Project in Gowanus during Summer 2016

Photos courtesy Alloy Development

Stormwater pollution has been a constant problem that New York City has struggled to properly manage. Canals like the Gowanus and Newtown Creek (both Superfund sites) are hit with thousand of gallons of sewage overflow every time there is a major storm. But this isn’t to say the city isn’t trying. Many flood-prone neighborhoods have been receiving rain gardens—or bioswales— planters that not only bring more greenery onto the neighborhood streets, but have the ability to collect up to 2,500 gallons of water during storms.

Over the summer, the Gowanus Canal Conservancy and Alloy Development took the concept of utilizing bioswales to the next level and thus the 2,000 Gallon Project was born. The project was an art installation of sorts, where “pop-up dumpsters” were used as tree planters around the Gowanus to raise awareness around the importance of stormwater retention to prevent sewage overflow into the canal. Once the art installation was over, the trees that were planted inside of the dumpsters were re-planted throughout the neighborhood as part of NYC’s Street Tree Planning initiative. As for the dumpsters, they too will be given a new life.

According to the Brooklyn Paper, the bright blue dumpster will move from Gowanus to Industry City where they will be reused as planters that will bring much-needed greenery to the area. It hasn’t been determined yet where the dumpsters will be stationed within Industry City or what types of plants will spring forth from them, but whatever is decided will be an improvement over the area’s current lush-lacking state of existence.