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Nov 20 2012

NYIT Architects Raise Funds to Finish Costa Rica Recycling Center

Nosara recycling center

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (November 20, 2012)  ΜΆ  New York Institute of Technology architecture students and faculty hope to return to Costa Rica in January to finish the construction of a recycling and education center they designed last year.

Under the leadership of Assistant Professor Tobias Holler, the project is about 50% complete. A new Kickstarter fundraising campaign aims to raise $9,000 to pay the expenses of up to 20- 25 students who each will spend at least a week to help finish the center in Nosara.

Funds also will pay for the completion of filming about the project, which will be featured in a documentary about waste management and sustainability in Costa Rica. In stark contrast to an image of oceanfront beaches and extraordinary fauna, the country suffers from a serious problem in municipal solid waste management. More than 60% of the 2,400 tons of daily waste are put into open, unregulated dumps. Illegal dumping in rivers and tropical forests pollutes ground water and threatens local communities.

Last year, Holler initiated a design competition at NYIT for the project. Nine winners of the contest, which included a Facebook voting campaign, presented initial designs to the local community. They finalized the design and construction documents with students and faculty from NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences.

The NYIT-designed recycling center will include a sorting facility, an open lobby, and community education space.  The 3,000-square-foot center will reduce the amount of recyclable waste sent to a nearby inadequate municipal dump.

Earlier this year, the project team raised $20,000 which allowed 30 students to spend several weeks Nosara in July and August. Funds also paid for the initial documentary filming. The students set up the construction site, completed the site grading, concrete foundations and block walls, and began the roof construction.

Holler said the opportunity to construct a project is valuable for architecture students.

"It really makes you a better designer because you know what is possible," he said. "The connection between the design of the project and the pitfalls and difficulties of construciton makes them much better designers and architects."


About NYIT

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.


Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit



Elaine Iandoli



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