Thursday, July 20, 2006

Garbage In, Garbage Out

As the NY Times reports this morning the City Council and the Mayor are moving forward with the city's SWMP. The vote, 44-5, was predictable since all of the minority members were basically in support of the fair share provisions that stuck three new facilities in Manhattan, including one on the toney East Side.

Kudos to the mayor for his masterful orchestration of a garbage siting plan that effectively concealed the fact that the plan's waste reduction components, well, the fact that there really aren't any. Which means that, as the administration acknowledges, the already costly capital construction plan will become extremely more expensive than the current roughly $70 a ton it costs to export waste.

Of course, once again the question of what to do with the city's commercial waste has been punted way down the field. We know that the city can't force carters to tip at any of the new marine transfer stations, even if they do eventually get built.

In regards to this issue the Times had a most interesting observation: "In a further concession to council members, the administration also agreed to work with private waste companies to reduce the amount of commercial garbage being trucked through four neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens that already have heavy truck traffic." Should we call this the Bloomberg air lift?

We're just not sure what this exactly means but we do believe that the methodology for this kind of reduction exists and it is encompassed in Intro 133. Not only will commercial food waste disposers actually reduce the amount of private garbage by 25%, the removal of organic waste will mean that the rest of the garbage will be, (1) Less smelly,and; (2) Much more recyclable-almost 95% in regards to supermarket waste.

So if the administration is serious on this score we will begin to open a dialogue on the issue with EDC. We are convinced that the installation of disposers will have long term benefits to the viability of the SWMP.