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[GreenYes] Recycling Trashed
Hi all,

You know, there are a number of us in the NYC advisory community who know 
the true reasons for NYC's failed recycling program, but most of us have 
been so busy trying to save the program that we don't get the facts out to 
the rest of the world.  That DOS consciously chose and is continuing to 
choose the most expensive, least efficient means of recycling needs to be 
brought out and detailed.  Otherwise, the media and then the country will 
believe that there is no way NYC can recycle cost-effectively.  We heard 
last night at the Manhattan Citizens Solid Waste Advisory Board that even 
in the forward-thinking and -acting state of Minnesota, all this 
misinformation may well cause a dampening effect on recycling.  The 
national media is really happy to spread the bad news.  This will then have 
a further backlash on NYC., and so forth.

The City has set up the program now to fail even more miserably.  The City 
has decided that $2 million is enough to educate 8.5 million New Yorkers 
that all glass, plastic and wax paper containers, which had been 
recyclables last month, are now garbage.  (In my case, these constituted 
the vast majority of my MGP).  Further, the City has decided to leave any 
blue bags that have any of these "contaminants" on the curb.  So if one 
person in an apartment building doesn't get the word, all attempts at 
recycling metals, made by other tenants, will be for naught, and disposed 
as garbage.  This ensures that the amount of metals recycled will be a 
small fraction of what is out there.  It also ensures that the truck routes 
will have to be extended so far that they won't be able to collect metals 
from all  residences in a normal shift.  Further, since the City refused to 
take our advice and allow truck routes to cross community board lines, more 
trucks will come back less than full.  This will then cause them to argue 
that we only need it every other week.  That will reduce recycling even 
further.  They will be able to say that New Yorkers don't like recycling 
and will then cancel the metals program.  Brilliant, eh?  Only the last 
part will be reported by the press.  But EPA's research has shown that the 
fewer the number of recyclables collected, the more expensive it gets.  I 
gave them this research.  The advisory community gave them ideas on how to 
save money without cutting recycling (e.g., save $7-10 million/year by 
leaving grass clippings).  But noooooo.  They wouldn't consider doing 
this.  Even City Council staffers are saying it is not a matter of 
economics, but that the Mayor just doesn't like recycling.  It's easy to 
design a program to fail.  Too bad this isn't what gets reported.

This is no doubt a case in point:

The current issue of The Economist (July 6-12) devoted to the environment, 
has a front-of-the-book article (p. 32) headed:

New York's budget punctures a costly green fantasy

I continues in that vein.  Letters to the Editor can be e-mailed to

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