Monday, January 01, 2007

Commercial Garbage, Rotten Politics

Another glaring weakness in the city's SWMP is the total lack of any realism when it comes to the commercial waste sector. The city's plan calls for the opening up of a commercial waste transfer station on 59Th Street and the Hudson River. What's missing is any cogent plan to get the private carters to actually dump their waste at the facility.

Under the current concept the city will issue an RFP for the development of the 59th Street site and, assuming there isn't any lawsuit about the use of the facility (a big assumption indeed), it will report on progress with the development in 2008! In 2009 the Sanitation folks will be back at the council for "modifications" under this scenario if the progress on utilizing the designated transfer point stalls (as it undoubtedly will).

What we have here is the old Machiavellian adage about appearing good rather than actually being good. The city has no plan-as the council clearly knows-on how to distribute commercial waste more fairly. The real fairness would lie in reducing commercial waste so that all of those transfer stations in Williamsburgh, Jamaica, the South Bronx and Greenpoint could be slowly phased out.

The only effective method for accomplishing this goal would be the gradual implementation of commercial FWDS in the city's food stores and restaurants, something that the council leadership disposed of in its deal with the mayor on the SWMP. We are not going to sit around saying "We told you so," when this SWMP comes apart at the bloated seams.

We are going to continue to push Intro 133 because it is in the best interest of the city-from both an economic as well as an environmental standpoint. The craven deal that was struck- with a totally inept city agency placed in charge of the evaluation process-simply cannot stand any fair scrutiny. And the leaders of the council are going to after examine what amounts to a consistently ant-small business policy. The billionaire Bloomberg can get away with it but in 2009 a number of less well-healed folks are bound to get hoisted.