John Johnson

John Johnson headshot
bold idea

Increase recycling rates, save money, reduce the carbon footprint in New York City, and create hundreds of jobs for NYCHA residents through a door-to-door recycling collection service.

organization overview

The Inner City Green Team is creating a sustainable, scalable, and replicable recycling infrastructure at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) with job creation and environmental protection at its core. Its unique service-based approach provides residents an accessible and engaging experience with recycling. It ties together resident education, convenience in the form of a door-to-door pickup service for recyclables, and rewards to effect behavior change. Its program will assist over 400,000 residents in diverting their recyclables from landfills, saving taxpayer dollars and providing paid work that can lead to a lifetime of employment and civic engagement for NYCHA residents.

Personal Bio

John Johnson is the co-founder of the Inner City Green Team. A diehard environmentalist and social justice advocate, John came to this work as a recycling coordinator at GrowNYC, where he has been working for over 10 years to improve recycling rates in NYC. While at GrowNYC, he was selected as an Emerging Leader by the Bank of America and participated in its Neighborhood Builders Leadership Training Program. This highly competitive program is designed to recognize and reward nonprofit organizations and individuals who are achieving excellence in their community-building efforts. John’s passion and desire to protect the planet and some of its most vulnerable citizens has led him and his partner on this journey to create ICGT. In 2018, they launched their pilot project, having won the NYCx Co-Lab Challenge: Zero Waste in Shared Space. This was an international competition seeking solutions that would improve recycling in NYC public housing. John studied urban studies at Macalester College, and urban policy analysis and management at the New School for Social Research. John is a 2020 Echoing Green Fellow.

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    New York, United States

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