Bronx Community College Wins $1-Million NYPA Grant to Create Greener Campus

Bronx Community College won $1 million in the inaugural Bronx Green Action Challenge to improve campus sustainability and reduce the BCC's environmental footprint.

Bronx Community College won the inaugural Bronx Green Action Challenge.
Bronx Community College won the inaugural Bronx Green Action Challenge.

NEW YORK—Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson and the Bronx Economic Development Corporation announced on Nov. 14 that Bronx Community College has won the inaugural Bronx Green Action Challenge, a first-of-its-kind environmental sustainability challenge.

BCC will receive a $1-million award, funded by the New York Power Authority (NYPA), to develop and implement a plan to improve campus sustainability and reduce the institution's environmental footprint. Part of the funding will also be used to launch a new green jobs training program.

“Congratulations to Bronx Community College on winning the Bronx Green Action Challenge,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “The effects of climate change are being felt all around us and we must all do our part to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. The College’s proposal to create a Sustainability Hub that includes a rain garden to address flooding, a food waste composting and recycling program, as well as a green workforce training program will help address the environmental challenges of our borough.”

She continued, “ I want to thank all the participating colleges and universities for their competitive spirit and the President of the Bronx Economic Development Corporation, Rob Walsh, for leading the development of The Bronx Green Action Challenge. Lastly, thank you to the New York Power Authority President and CEO Justin Driscoll for demonstrating his commitment to a cleaner, greener, and more eco-friendly Bronx through the funding of this great initiative.”

“Higher education is one of the Bronx's strongest and fastest growing industries full of creative and intelligent young people with forward-looking climate ideas,” said Rob Walsh, President of the Bronx Economic Development Corporation. “We are honored to have received so many amazing proposals from schools from across the borough and congratulate BCC on winning the first Bronx Green Action Challenge. We look forward to seeing the innovative ideas come to fruition.”

BCC will use the $1-million award to launch the BCC Sustainability Hub (BCCSH), which will address environmental issues on its campus at 2155 University Ave., and create a green workforce training program.

Specifically, the funding will be used to:

  • Save an estimated two million gallons of water annually by installing low-flush toilets. That’s enough to fill more than four Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Create rain gardens to address flooding and erosion.
  • Compost nearly 900,000 pounds of food waste, keeping it out of the sanitation removal system.
  • Keep approximately 180,000 plastic utensils out of landfills.
  • Develop a solar roof demonstration and provide solar and wind turbine training certificate classes for BCC/CUNY students and Bronx residents. The amount of solar capacity converted from rooftops at Bronx Community College equates to the annual electricity needs of more than 100 typical New York City households, while potentially offsetting nearly 100 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually—the equivalent of taking about 40 gasoline-powered cars off the road.

“The Power Authority is pleased to fund the Bronx Green Action Challenge to bring innovative thinking from the academic community to address the borough’s sustainability challenges while prioritizing underserved communities,” said New York Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “It’s particularly rewarding to see how Bronx Community College, the recipient of this year’s award, has proposed community-led solutions in its ambitious climate action plan.”

Seven colleges and universities submitted proposals for the Green Action Challenge. Proposals focused on one or more of the following areas: energy production, waste management, food sourcing, green space, transportation, and water. A panel of three judges evaluated the submitted proposals on a number of criteria to determine the winning college.

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