Monday, November 21, 2005

Garbage Grinders Gain Momentum

As more and more councilmembers begin to understand the importance of food waste disposers – in terms of both solid waste and public health policy – support for a commercial disposal pilot program (Intro 742) increases. At last count, 32 members had either signed or had verbally agreed to sign-on to sponsor the bill and we are confident that quite a few more will soon join their colleagues.

Friday's Crain's Insider reports that, in recognition of the public health benefits of disposers, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has embarked on a pilot program to install 18,000 disposers in city-owned apartments. Of even greater interest is the fact that the NYCHA installations are being bought and paid for by the Integrative Pest Management Division of the NYC Department of Health. It appears, then, that the city is operating at cross-purposes with itself.

In addition, the Alliance's Matt Lipsky has discovered that the city of Philadelphia, a municipality that mandatesthe use of food waste disposers for any commercial establishment that applies for a garbage dumpster permit, has had almost no negative experiences with the impact of disposers on that city's waste water and sewer infrastructure (yet as far as we've been able to tell NYC DEP has not bothered to examine the Philly experience in the context of their own strenuous opposition to disposer legalization in New York).

All this means is that there should be no one who opposes a pilot program in NYC. Those who do seem to be almost afraid of actually being shown up as plain wrong once their assumptions are put to a real world test.