Low Recycling Rate Worries New York
October 9, 2013 by
The Alliance for a Greater New York recently gave out a report that does not have very pleasant news for New Yorkers. According to this report, around 90% of the commercial waste from office buildings, city restaurants, and other businesses can be composted or recycled. Unfortunately, the city is not even able to reach half of this rate. The current rate of commercial recycling in the city is as low as 40%.
Getting to the Root of Recycling
This gap reveals a major concern that needs to be addressed soon to get the city in a better shape. More than 3 million tons of commercial trash is generated in the city every year. But sadly, around 2 million tons of it gets burned in incinerators or gets buried in landfills. This is disappointing on many levels because the city already has many eco-friendly programs and recycling plans which aim to reduce such environmental problems.
The alliance has blamed the inefficiency of the commercial waste industry for this problem. It said that around 2000 garbage collectors, also known as commercial carters have routes that intersect each other while carrying the garbage out of the metropolis.
Apart from highlighting the problem, the report also suggested a solution. It said that New York should learn from Seattle and Los Angeles in this matter. It said that the metropolis should embrace a franchise system similar to these cities which involve competitive bidding, higher labor, as well as environmental standards and reduced number of corporations.
On the other hand, CEO of Action Environmental Services, a waste management company, Ron Bergamini, said that copying the system adopted by other cities won’t help New York in solving its recycling woes especially in tackling food waste. He further said that though composting is a good idea, the city does not have adequate infrastructure to handle an increase in composting.
Encouraging Recycling and Composting with Promotional Reusable Bags
In such a case, environmental organizations in the city can come together to create an awareness regarding composting and recycling in the city. They can make use of promotional reusable bags to spread the word.
Sara Jenkins, owner of Porchetta and Porsena restaurants, said that most of the restaurateurs in the city are keen on composting. If all of them start composting and recycling their waste it will help in making a major difference. One of the spokesperson for Mayor Bloomberg said that many eco-friendly measures are on the horizon.