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[GreenYes] New York Times today - NY Revisits Idea of Incineration -- My 5-cents
Dear GreenYes,

      In the New York Times today, a page-one story by Kirk Johnson carries the headline "As Options Shrink, New York Revisits Idea of Incineration."   Among the interesting bits of news, Johnson reports that:

"Mr. Bloomberg's sanitation commissioner, John J. Doherty, twice brought up the issue of incineration, without ever being asked about it, in testifying earlier this week before the City Council."

      Earlier in the month, a The New York Times editorial urged the mayor to consider reopening the Fresh Kills landfill, as well as considering incineration.  While recycling advocates undoubtedly find these developments disturbing, there is one silver lining.

      Mayor Bloomberg and the New York Times have repeatedly made waste and recycling front page news in the past 6 weeks.  Reporters, columnists, editorial writers, letters to the editor have all addressed concerns flowing from Mayor Bloomberg's proposals to suspend curbside recycling of glass, plastic and metal for 18 months, as well as replacing New York State's 5-cent bottle and can deposit system with a tax.

      Earlier in the week, the Wall Street Journal carried an Op Ed complaining about 'forced recycling', which wasn't about beverage deposits but about curbside recycling.  As local government is pressed by a weak economy, higher costs for 'homeland security' and higher costs for health and other essential services, pressures on curbside recycling programs are bound to increase.

      GreenYes has had a lively discussion about the merits of collecting glass through curbside programs.  As plastics continue to gain market share for beverage packaging and aluminum market share shrinks, the economic of curbside recycling will deteriorate further.

      And now we are back to the old incineration and landfill questions.  Perhaps GRRN should recycle it's report on Wasting and Recycling in the United States, targeting more local government, environmental, recycling and media opinion leaders.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance can fire up its research staff, showing the economic benefits of recycling and reuse, instead of relying on landfills and incineration.

      It's time to talk about 21st century approaches to designing more material efficient products and packaging.  Zero Waste is a great idea, but how about tackling New York City's plans to take giant steps backwards.

      The New York Attorney General and a group of leaders from the environmental, recycling, business and religious communities are advocating expansion of the state bottle and can deposit system, to include many more types of beverages.
That's just one, relatively simple way to increase recycling at little or no cost to taxpayers.

      Let's look at the New York City debate as a real life opportunity to advance the public dialogue in the United States about the best means to eliminate waste and build sustainable communities.

Lance King
Associate Editor
Container and Packaging Recycling Update
Container Recycling Institute
Arlington, VA
Tel: (703) 276-9800
Fax: (703) 276-9587

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