Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Food Wasted

In today's Crain's In$ider the newsletter reports on the deal between the Council and the mayor that calls for the city to commission a study to determine whether a pilot program is needed to determine the utility of food waste disposers. Crains observes that the council felt that this was the best it could get from the administration.

Which is not really the whole story on this issue. There was no compelling need for the council to negotiate any agreement with the mayor on food waste disposers, especially with the level of support in the body for Intro 133. There is also good reason for the council to proceed with its own pilot in order to document all of the potential solid waste benefits of the use of food waste disposers (something that the DEP will not be doing).

Given the DEP's publicly expressed hostility to the use of the device it makes no sense for the council to give the agency carte blanche. After all, in a letter to the sponsors of Intro 133 Commissioner Lloyd, obviously vying for a Noble Prize in Science, claimed that she had a more "scientific" method to study fwds than an empirically grounded pilot program. How will the agency sponsored study go beyond this expressed bias?

Keep in mind that the Council mandated commercial waste study not only never bothered to include an evaluation if fwds, it also concluded that the clustering of transfer stations in certain neighborhoods had no negatrive impact on those communities. The study was ignored by all in the adoption of the SWMP.

Which leaves us with the fact that the current SWMP is not a waste plan at all, in the sense that a city faced with a disposal crisis has a plan to reduce its disposal costs by reducing the amount of waste it exports. It is also a plan that is likely to not be able to be fully implemented because of numerous legal challenges.

In addition, we're still waiting for anyone at the council to support measures that reduce the cost of doing business for the city's retailers. That is one of the prime objectives of Intro 133. The tax generators, however, are clearly not as favored as the self-proclaimed environmentalists who have never contributed a penny to support the maintenance of city services.