Monday, October 09, 2006

City Retailers Dread Further Garbage Hikes

According to our sources the city has yet to hire a consultant to investigate whether it would be OK for private carters to once again raise garbage rates for New York 220,000 business customers. The rate that was approved in 2003 allowed the carters to charge a higher hauling rate for "wet" garbage. This organic waste rate increase is what has caused disposal rates to double and triple over the past three years. Apparently this isn't enough for the carting industry, and they have now requested an additional raise.

What's of real interest to us is to see if there are any city council members who are willing to stand up for the beleaguered food retailers of the city. We have already seen how Sanitation chair Mike McMahon sold out these folks by by-passing Intro 133, a measure that would have allowed the food retailers and restaurants to grind their garbage into the sewer system. The protocol that the council and the administration agreed to would not provide any relief to the retailers until 2009 at the earliest. This is as good example of bad faith as we have seen in a long time.

What we have, just as we do with the misplaced sympathy for peddlers and greenmarket operators, is a total lack of concern for the hard working small business owners who form the backbone of the city's economy. Is an overblown worry about the prevalence of algae in the Jamaica Bay more important than a rising garbage rate that would cripple struggling neighborhood businesses? Apparently, for this council, it most certainly and regrettably is.