Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Whither Commercial Waste? Part 2

The total lack of any realistic option for the more appropriate disposal of commercial waste in the city's SWMP is also underscored by the inevitable failure of the proposed 59th Street facility. As the NY Daily News reports this morning, "Council insiders and Manhattan community and political leaders contend that the three borough facilities in the plan {Gansevoort and East 91st Street} are doomed to be non-starters, because of litigation or Albany legislative opposition."

So, when these puzzle pieces prove to be unavailable what has the mayor and the council actually done for the beleaguered waterfront communities?" Very quickly, in same time next year fashion, we'll be back to square one. As usual the failure to actually come up with a waste-reduction strategy will bring us back to the same, same old. The fair share plan will be reduced to a continuation of the city's expensive "pump and dump" landfill based methodology.

Which brings us back to the logic of Intro 133, the measure that would study the utility of installing commercial food waste disposers. In today's Crain's In$ider the newsletter reports on the Alliance's continued efforts to win the support of Speaker Quinn for a bill that has 35 council sponsors.

The Insider points out that the DEP and WM are in opposition, and cites a grinder supporter who speculates that WM's opposition may be a result of the fact that the company's "revenues would suffer if businesses could grind up food rubbish rather than pay them to remove it." But on further reflection perhaps this is the source of the city's opposition as well.

If, as we speculated in the previous post the city is looking to flow control commercial waste, than it wouldn't be in its interest to develop a method that would remove the cash cow of organic waste before it reached city controlled transfer stations. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that a public bureaucracy colluded with the interests of a multi-billion contractor.

As we continue to watch all of this unfold we anticipate that the mayor's efforts to appear good rather than to actually be good will flounder and the entire SWMP will unravel. This is precisely what makes the pilot program for food waste disposers so important.