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[greenyes] New York City


In the report “Reaching for Zero; The Citizens Plan for Zero Waste in New
York City” by Resa Dimino and Barabara Warren June 2004, a local study is cited
that concludes that thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in new revenue
will be created by maximizing recycling and stimulating local industrial growth
in the recycling industry in New York City. This current action by the City
to collect and sell metal, glass and plastic to a local company who will invest
in capital facilities is an example of such new revenue and new jobs. The
City paper contract to Visy Paper in 1997 created a local paper recycling
industry and 160 new jobs on Staten Island.

This action by the City is the first in a series of steps that the City can
make to get on the road to zero waste. It makes sense because the markets for
source separated paper, metal and plastics are at an all time high and folks
in North Carolina don't want New York City's discards. Education, training,
economic development, legislation and regulation, and enforcement are all part
of the citizens plan. The next steps will determine the path.

The Citizens plan calls for Material Reuse Facilities. These facilities will
handle reusable, repairable and dismantled discards. When paper, glass,
metal, plastic and reusables are separately collected, the great majority of the
rest of the material is organic and inert materials.

One option is to separately collect these materials and barge them to the
Fresh Kills disposal site for composting. The rock of course will become
aggregate. The site, like most current urban burial sites, is a perfect location for
a resource recovery park for composting and construction and demolition
debris recycling.

Will New York adopt this plan? The current elected officials need help in
making this decision. The consensus for a rational discard management policy is
building. There is a long history of citizen involvement in the politics
involved with health and sanitation in the City and I am betting that the
citizens with the business community on their side will get the job done.

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