About

The Brooklyn Solid Waste Advisory Board (BkSWAB) is a volunteer citizens’ advisory board that advises the Brooklyn Borough President on policies and programs regarding NYC’s waste prevention, reuse, and recycling. We care about how waste affects our borough and are working to increase community engagement in order to transform New York City into a place where material recovery is part of our culture. Our diverse group is comprised of solid waste management industry leaders, waste reduction consultants, sustainability professionals, and concerned citizens.

The BkSWAB meets on the first Monday of the month at Brooklyn Borough Hall (currently on Zoom), and meetings are open to the public. We have a number of active committees, all of which are open to the public as well.

The Brooklyn SWAB was created per Local Law 19, the mandatory recycling law established in 1989, which requires a SWAB in each borough. The Bronx SWAB, Manhattan SWAB and Queens SWAB are also currently active.

Mission

The BkSWAB aims to carry out the function of the citizens' board as outlined in the NYC Administrative Code, serving as a trusted community resource to the Brooklyn Borough President and City Council members on issues related to waste in our borough.

Become a BkSWAB Member

Thanks for your interest in becoming a BkSWAB member! Membership is FREE, and open to all.

How to apply for membership:

  1. Attend at least 3 of our last 6 monthly board meetings

  2. Download and fill out the membership application

  3. Please send your completed application to swab.brooklyn@gmail.com or hand it to Shari Rueckl in person at the next meeting (you can apply the night of your third meeting). Shari will forward your application to the Brooklyn Borough President.

As a member of the BkSWAB, you are required to:

  • Attend at least 6 monthly board meetings in the calendar year

  • Join at least 1 committee (see below), and attend its meetings


Members

Similar to Community Boards, BkSWAB members are appointed by the Brooklyn Borough President.

Current members:

Oliver Wright, Chair

Shari Rueckl, Vice Chair

Debbie Herdan, Secretary

Elizabeth Royzman, Sergeant at Arms

Akhmose Ari-Hotep, Board Member

Anne Bassen, Board Member

Betty Feibusch, Board Member

Sarah Bloomquist, Board Member

Kendall Christiansen, Board Member

Suzan Frazier, Board Member

Pablo Garcia, Board Member

Rich Grousset, Board Member

Debbie Herdan, Board Member

Kevin Jaksik, Board Member

Rhonda Keyser, Board Member

Celeste McMickle, Board Member

Bella Muccari, Board Member

Dylan Oakley, Board Member

Michael Rieser, Board Member

Claire Sprouse, Board Member

Vandra Thorburn, Board Member

Greg Todd, Board Member

Committees

Executive Committee

Organics Industry Committee

Legislative Committee

Events Committee

Outreach Committee

NYCHA Committee (Liaison to MSWAB led committee)

BkSWAB in the news!


  • Chair Oliver Wright quoted in the Guardian article on NYC’s rat problem in September

  • And again in the WasteDive review of the City Council hearing on 9/20

  • BkSWAB members Greg and Pablo supported “Celebrate Our Earth” Waste Collection Event at Wagner Houses on May 11, 2022. Check out the coverage here.