Monday, April 17, 2006

Trash Dilemma

Last week the NY Post printed an Op-ed piece advocating incineration as a solution to the city's costly garbage disposal problem ("Burning is Green" PostOpinion, April 10). Predictably there was a response, and the three letters printed today perfectly underscore the differences people have on this issue.

The first from Bob Mercandetti, a private carter, accurately points out the extent to which the city's pump and dump, landfill-based methodology has one clear result: the financial aggrandizement of the mega-haulers who own the landfills. As he says, "Feeding the landfills is where the profit lies in our industry today."

The other two letters come from the environmental community and exhibit all of the retrograde and myopic tendencies that we've come to expect from these romantic folks. The first from our old buddy Tim Logan rants against the evils of incineration and ignores all of the contrary evidence from the past ten years of experience, the old "don't confuse me with the facts, my mind's made up" mentality.

The other letter comes from the "Zero Waste Campaign" and as you might expect from a group so aptly named, it makes zero sense. It repeats the religious mantra of "waste prevention, recycling and compostng" and ignores all of the evidence that more practical intervention will be needed if we are to free ourselves from a landfill based disposal plan.

This is especially true for the composting argument. That is why we have promoted the introduction and expansion of food waste disposers. It is, as we have pointed out, the only practical and environmentally sound method to reduce the city's waste and the concomitant reliance on trucks and landfills. More on this next week.