Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Job Gains small, Rat gains Large

Buried in the usual glow emanating from the Mayor's Management Report is the news, best highlighted by Glen Thrush in Newsday, that the city's rat and roach population, despite increased extermination efforts, has continued to climb. As the mayor aptly put it, "The city has put out traps and poisons at a record rate...Whether we're really staying ahead of the rat population, nobody knows."

Well, perhaps all the complainants have a better handle on the problem considering they experience it from the front lines. The growing infestations that these people deal with only points out what we have been saying all along about the issue of putrescible garbage disposal and the city's reluctance to promote the use of commercial food waste disposers and more residential disposers as well.

The city's increased use of poison and traps is simply not going to do the job. The only effective strategy is to dramatically reduce the vermins' food supply. This is precisely what garbage disposers do. They eliminate the vector problem at its source: the neighborhood restaurant, green grocer, bodega and supermarket.

In the process they also alleviate the escalating expense that these stores have experienced in the past four years, as disposal rates, set by the city, have doubled and tripled. Escalating disposal costs are just another manifestation of the hardships suffered by small business under Bloomberg's watch.

That is why the Alliance has been promoting Intro 220, a bill that would legalize the commercial use of disposers. With the administration continuing to resist, the Council is poised to implement a pilot program, hopefully starting sometime this fall.

It goes without saying that the reduction of putrescible waste will also become germane as the Council tries to fine-tune the mayor's feeble SWMP, a disposal program totally devoid of meaningful waste reduction. The issue will also become heated because we predict that the communities that are threatened by transfer stations will focus on the SWMP's failure to address waste reduction.