Though the New York City Housing Authority touts its “green agenda,” advertising a commitment “to providing safe, affordable housing for more than 400,000 residents in a cost efficient and environmentally conscious manner,” many of the city’s public housing residents say that isn’t the case. Ashley Paniagua, for example, tried to plant gardens on the lawns of Harlem’s Manhattanville Houses and was sidelined by three years of permits and waiting lists. “It’s a lot of politics,” she told the New York Times. “You’ve got to go through so many people, just to get something simple done.”

The biggest problem appears to be the lack of access to recycling. According to a records obtained by the Times, over half of the city’s 334 housing projects don’t have recycling bins, and in many of those that do, access to recycling is much more difficult than access to regular garbage cans.

“The whole green thing feels like it was a buzzword,” said Nova Strachan of the Bronx’s Union Avenue Consolidation houses. “It feels like it’s fading out.”

(Photo: Matthew Rutledge/Flickr)