Bill de Blasio really wants to make his mark on NYC. He will stop at little to make sure it happens, even if it is ill advised.
The Mayor is planing to stop all landfilling in NYC over the next 14 years. This sounds great upfront and an idea almost every New Yorker can get behind. New York city while producing the most curb side waste over any other metropolitan area, also has the largest and best recycling program in operation. The city spends more per trash removal then any other city in the US. It cost us over twice the amount, per pound, as Washing DC.
I would love to see the stop of the highly polluted and costly method of landfilling. But I do not agree with our Mayors plan. I visited (twice) and spoke directly to employees at the city’s sanitation department (Pier 17). I am told directly from onsite workers that this plan is heavily focused on increasing the burning of trash. Incinerating vs. Landfilling has mixed opinions among many scientists and environmentalists, read them here. But either-way it is not a true answer to our growing problem. And for us to wait 14 years for something that fixes little if not makes a problem worse is not a great thing, or even a good answer to this problem.
What an answer would be is to lower the amount of potential non-recyclable garage consumption. Plans that include ideas like taxing manufactures that create heave packaging. Create tariffs on items entering the city with non-recycle packaging. outlawing plastic pages, straws, utensils, etc. Give tax breaks to businesses using corn based non plastic items. Raising fines for creating to much waste by commercial entities. Privatizing garage remove all together, where vendors can fluctuate fees based on the amount of waste removed, while keeping recyclable removal without additional fees and paid for by taxes.
The trouble is all of these are hard, they will face heavy competition from wealthy organizations who will face the most difficulties adapting to these changes. Or mayor doesn’t seem to be one who is willing to take this work on or is not up to the task. He’d rather burn it then make real change, the change we need.
But this is not the first time stupid plans are put in place to fix real issues. You wont believe what they do in Chinatown at 3am everyday. The area known as Chinatown is considered to have some of the worst street garbage in the city. It has been that way for years. So the DSNY goes out at 3am with leaf-blowers in hand to blow the garbage onto the streets, from the sidewalk, so streets-weepers can pickup everything. But the real reason why they are out there is to wake up and annoy the residents of the area. Chinatown is covered with low-rise and walk up buildings, most have old single pain windows which do not keep much noise out. So he is doing this with the goal that the residence will start keeping the streets clean, or else their sleep will be halting ongoing.
Just another stupid plan put in-place looking for a quick fix that not only wont work but has made things worse. Yes the residence of Chinatown are revolting against this onslaught of noise, as the rest of NYC will do once they hear their waste will be burned for them to now breath in.