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[GreenYes] [Fwd: Article: New York City to Resume Recycling of Plastics]

> City to Resume Recycling of Plastics
> January 14, 2003
> New York City is poised to resume recycling plastic this
> summer and save a significant amount of money thanks to a
> New Jersey company's bid to pay the city for its crumpled
> water bottles and deli containers, city officials said
> yesterday.
> The Bloomberg administration suspended the recycling of
> glass and plastic last July, arguing that the program cost
> too much money - and yielded too little environmental
> benefit - to justify its existence in the current fiscal
> crisis.
> But under a compromise reached between the administration
> and the City Council, the city will resume its
> plastic-recycling program this July and its glass-recycling
> program in July 2004.
> The sanitation commissioner, John J. Doherty, said at a
> City Council hearing yesterday that the city is on target
> to meet the July deadline for restarting plastic recycling.
> He added that the city stands to save a significant amount
> of money compared with the previous program.
> Mr. Doherty said the city hopes to sign a contract in the
> next two months with a small New Jersey recycling company,
> Hugo Neu Schnitzer East, that has offered to pay the city
> $5.15 per ton for plastic and metal garbage, instead of
> charging for the service. Other, bigger garbage firms, he
> said, wanted to charge the city more that $67 a ton for
> removing plastic and metal refuse.
> "It's very encouraging," Mr. Doherty said of the bid. If
> the contract goes through, he noted, the city would save
> more than $70 a ton on plastic recycling. Over all,
> however, it would still cost the city money: Mr. Doherty
> said the money the city would get from Hugo Neu Schnitzer
> East would not be enough to offset the high cost of
> collecting the plastic. Still, he described the bid as the
> best offer the city has had since it passed a law requiring
> recycling in 1989.
> City officials said they were confronting a harsh reality
> when they suspended glass and plastic recycling: they were
> spending tens of millions of dollars a year for a program
> that still wound up putting a great deal of refuse into
> landfills.
> But Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. released a report
> in December suggesting that the city was not saving as much
> money by suspending recycling as it had hoped. The report
> said that since suspending recycling, the Sanitation
> Department had reduced its garbage-collection runs by less
> than 2 percent.
> The new contract will not earn the city much money. The
> city collects a little over 100,000 tons of metal and
> plastic a year, so at $5.15 a ton it would stand to make a
> little over half a million dollars. The real savings would
> be that the city would no longer have to pay firms to
> remove its recyclables. And by taking plastic out of the
> regular trash collection, the city would no longer have to
> pay the high price of exporting it, one truck at a time, to
> out-of-state landfills.
> Councilman Michael E. McMahon, a Staten Island Democrat who
> is chairman of the Council's Sanitation Committee, said the
> proposal was a win-win deal. "You've got good news for the
> environment and good news for the economy," he said.
> Mark A. Izeman, a lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense
> Council, a conservation group, said, "In tight budgetary
> times, it makes perfect sense for the city to seize
> opportunities like this to begin lowering New York's
> astronomical waste disposal costs."
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