4 thoughts on “City Aims for Zero Waste, but Inks Long-Term Deal with Upstate Landfill

  1. According to NYC’s Independent Budget Office (IBO), the East 91st Street MTS will triple the cost to dispose of the garbage that comes to it. It’s the one MTS that has been evaluated by the IBO, but we can expect all of the MTSs to raise NYC’s already astronomical waste management costs similarly and dramatically.
    The costly and outdated MTS plan was launched in the early 2000s and approved in 2007. The plan does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve NYC’s dismal and lagging recycling rates – or to reduce the amount of waste the City produces. In fact, the 20+ year contracts the City has entered into with vendors to haul and landfill or burn waste in mostly poor, minority communities far, far away will act as a disincentive to implement programs to reduce or divert more garbage. NYC lags far behind other cities – with a 16% DSNY recycling rate compared to an average rate of 35% in U.S. cities.
    The MTS plan was pushed forward based on the idea that it would make waste management more equitable across the City and reduce burdens on truly overburdened neighborhoods. It will NOT accomplish those goals, but that fact has been lost in the shuffle.
    What NYC needs to do first, to begin to reduce the amount of waste we generate, is to implement a way for residents to know what they actually pay for waste management (now the costs are buried, unknowable & uncontrollable by residents) – and to implement garbage collection price incentives that encourage us to generate less waste. Clear rules and enforcement of price incentives are needed for both residents and businesses. DSNY also needs to make it much easier for residents to do the right thing: the City agency has been focused for far too long on obstacles to recycling and reduction programs – what can’t be done – and not nearly enough on bold, creative solutions.
    NYC needs a waste management revolution – and the MTSs will make it much harder to change the lagging and bloated status quo.

  2. I agree that “Pay as you Throw” (or other means to connect New Yorkers with economic costs of their wastes) represents potent solution. And we absolutely need to reduce waste. Changing culture is necessary, via outreach and education programs, esp with children. Do we know how much $$ is funded for outreach efforts by GreenNYC and GrowNYC OROE? Perhaps a big opportunity lies in understanding the extent of funding and effectiveness of these efforts. I suspect woefully underfunded and fear that it will take years for PAYT to become reality. Think of what we all will waste in the meantime!

    • “Pay as you Throw” would be unmanageable in NYC. The city is too large. I pay $5k/year in property taxes + nyc income tax, etc. The city gets enough of my money as it it. Enough is enough.

  3. ‘While IESI originally planned to send barges from the Brooklyn contract
    to New Jersey, shipments will now go to Staten Island’s Global Container
    Terminal instead. Once every marine transfer station is operational,
    the terminal will handle thousands of tons of garbage from Brooklyn,
    Manhattan and Queens each day.

    Borough President James Oddo sees this as an economic development opportunity rather than an environmental burden.’

    I voted for Oddo, he is a good BP but he might not remember that under the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan each borough is responsible for it’s own waste. In other words that Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens waste is to be handled by Brooklyn,
    Manhattan and Queens. SI handles it’s own waste via the rail line over the AK Bridge.

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