Thursday, October 27, 2005

Grinder Pilot Program

At today’s stated City Council meeting, Intro 742 will be introduced creating a pilot program to study the effect of commercial waste disposers. If accepted, the pilot will allow for the installation of grinders in 1500 stores throughout the city and we believe the results will be tremendous both for neighborhood businesses and the city. Specifically, these disposers will:

1) Reduce the cost of disposal for neighborhood supermarkets, green grocers, bodegas, fish stores and restaurants. Due to a change in garbage regulations, stores can now be charged by weight and this has resulted in the doubling and, in some cases, the tripling of a store’s waste removal costs.

2) Reduce the amount of garbage being exported which will lessen the city’s dependency on costly, out-of-state landfills. Currently, the mayor’s Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) has no provision for the reduction of commercial waste which garbage disposers have the potential to drastically lower.

3) Improve the public health in the city’s neighborhoods by eliminating the food source for rodents and insects as well as reducing the number of truck trips and transfer activity in waterfront communities. Both of these benefits will also favorably impact on asthma rates which are made worse by truck fumes and rat/bug droppings. In fact, the New York City Department of Health has recognized these benefits and has implemented a grinder pilot program of its own in certain Manhattan and Brooklyn housing projects.

4) Greatly enhance the recycling levels of commercial waste. With contaminated, organic material removed, it is a lot easier to process/re-use the remaining garbage.
We encourage all councilmembers, especially those who sponsored Intro 220, which called for a complete legalization of commercial grinders, to support the pilot program. This measure is good for stores and beneficial for the city in terms of lowering garbage costs and improving public health.