Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ratting Out Frieden

The exposure of the DOH's non-feasance when it comes to addressing the rat/health issues in the city's restaurants continues. Yesterday in Newsday Justin Silverman pointed out, citing Chuck Hunt of the NYSRA, that "with the millions of dollars the city collects in fines from restaurants, it should hire more health inspectors." In the Wonkster, Gail Robinson avers and even gives some unusual props to the NY Post's editorial excoriating Dr. Frieden for being "asleep at the switch."

There, however, are some better alternatives that would also be useful in addressing this issue. As we have been tirelessly pointing out for the past three years, the use of food waste disposers at the city's eateries would go a long way towards addressing the rodent epidemic, precisely because it goes right after the food supply that nourishes the pests. This is especially true since the Sanitation Department regulations prohibit the storage of garbage in outdoor dumpsters (because of health issues). The city of Philadelphia, on the other hand, will not issue a dumpster permit unless a business has installed a disposer.

Apparently no one in this city is bright enough to figure out that the storage of this garbage where food is prepared and sold is not a good public health policy. It would be a good time now to reintroduce the bill, Intro 133, that propose to initiate a pilot program for commercial food waste disposers.

The deal that the council and the mayor struck on doing a study to determine whether a pilot program should be launched for disposers is the worst kind of scam. It is so because it not only puts off any decision for almost three years, but it leaves the decision in the hands of folks at the DEP that have stated publicly that they don't think even a pilot is a good idea. The agency's obscurantism is incomprehensible, and hints at a larger malfeasance that seems to be pervasive in an agency that has stuck it to homeowners with fraudulent water bills for years.