NYC to Increase Recycling

The New York City Council recently approved Mayor Bloomberg’s new (some might say overdue) Solid Waste Management Plan. Under the new plan, the city will aim to recycle about a quarter of the 12,000 tons of solid waste collected from homes, schools, and city-owned buildings per day. In order to achieve this increase from the current recycling rate of 16 percent, the city will expand the list of accepted recyclables, and implement public recycling efforts. More specifically, the city will place recycling bins in parks, subway stations, and on commercial sidewalks. The plan, which has won the support of the Natural Resources Defense Council, also calls for mandatory composting of leaves and yard waste. The city will also develop programs to ensure the proper disposal of computers, electronic equipment, and hazardous household waste.In an effort to guarantee the success of this plan, the city will create an independent office of recycling outreach and education. This office, which will be overseen by the Council on the Environment of New York City, will relieve the heavily criticized Sanitation Department of part of its recycling operation. The city will attempt to reduce the cost of recycling by signing a 20-year contract with a private company to secure the current price of $53 per ton. This plan is far from perfect, and the need for new recycling centers will certainly face opposition in the communities that will be affected. However, it marks a dramatic turnaround for Bloomberg who temporarily suspended the recycling of glass and plastic between 2002 and 2004. See also ::Bloomberg To Create NYC 'Office of Sustainability' and ::Segregated Recycling & Composting Bins