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RE: [greenyes] FW: [MassRecycle] New York City recommits to recycling!


We can always do better. But do you really think that some product redesign legislation, which would address only products sold in NYC, (an important market but CA it is not) could possibly begin to meet the waste management needs of New York City? Do you have some product redesign ideas/strategies that would substantially address the waste management needs of NYC now? The operative word, of course, is now. We can and will work towards more sustainable solutions, but NYC needs responses that address its needs now.


NYC generates 50,000 tons of waste a day @ 15 million tons/year. It exports 10 million tons of waste outside its borders every year. About 8 million tons of that material is landfilled or incinerated. A significant portion of this material is paper and MGP that is not recycled.

Compared to where we were just a year ago -- when the entire recycling program was in jeopardy due to what can only be called an ideological opposition to the idea of recycling by the Sanitation Department-- this was a great victory for recycling and New York. Thankfully, some independent voices demonstrated the failed financial returns by nearly eliminating recycling and its long-term costs and the City Council won us some breathing room by not letting the entire MGP program from being eliminated. In fact, NYC Sanitation wanted to get rid of paper recycling as well, but was constrained by long-term paper recycling contracts.

Also, the vast majority of material is reported to be arriving in barges that can carry @650 tons of material, keeping thousands of truck-trips from having to venture into the community and significantly reducing the total truck-miles.

Part of the reason that paper is so successful in NYC is that the volume of material and a long-term contract supports a paper recycling plant that generated $230 million in private sector investment and employs over 230 people. It recently added a paper-board operation. Compared to its plants in the south, I estimate that the transportation savings alone to bring finished paper board to market in the North East at $18 million per year for this company. Hopefully, a long-term commitment to MGP recycling will result in similar levels of investment and the development of a regional remanufacturing industry for MGP.

I look forward to hearing from Steve regarding the RFP process and the lost opportunities.


Eric Lombardi <eric@no.address> wrote:Helen,

You say...
* "There's a flaw in the reasoning here."
* "I ask this GREENYES list -- you, who are supposed to be the 21st
Century thinkers about waste!"
* "I'm bitterly disappointed in Bloomberg -- and in the American

It's so easy to be negative. Perhaps you could share with us your
positive suggestions and solutions? Of course, we all agree that
producers need to be held responsible for their waste (somehow) and that
DFE is the key step forward. So let's not stop there... let's hear some
real "how to's" on the path to your vision.

Meanwhile, I live in a world that when NY dropped recycling many
anti-recyclers around the world used that as "proof" that anything other
than modern landfilling or waste-to-energy was a fantasy. You see,
perception is reality, and NY is viewed by many on the planet as an
important urban center. So, while it's not perfect, I'm glad that NY is
going public that recycling is a more economic approach than
landfilling! Those of us fighting the good fight must celebrate our
small victories, or else we get burned out, overwhelmed by the scale of
the problems, and ultimately cynical and negative... and that just sucks
away our energy. No thank you.


-----Original Message-----
From: Helen Spiegelman [mailto:hspie@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 3:20 PM
To: Jenny Gitlitz; greenyes
Cc: Pat Franklin
Subject: Re: [greenyes] FW: [MassRecycle] New York City recommits to

There's a flaw in the reasoning here.

One cannot infer that the city is going to get "amazing returns" on
glass and plastic (not to mention all the other products in which they
inextricably commingled) and that these materials will perform "the way
paper did" just because they are hauled in city sanitation trucks to one

place to be mechanically separated.

Where, I ask this GREENYES list -- you, who are supposed to be the 21st
Century thinkers about waste! -- is the incentive for producers to
better products?

What Mayor Bloomberg has done, with all of you cheering him on, is let
producers of all those throwaway products off the hook for a good, long

Here in Canada, the city of Toronto is facing an even more embarrassing
quandary than New York. Their trash is being exported across the border
Michigan (Kerry is even trying to make it an election issue). Toronto's
response has been to pressure for a provincial law that will at least
get a
little chump-change to help cities cover recycling costs. And while
waiting for industry to put their money on the table, the cities are
investing their millions in COMPOSTING PLANTS for the food waste, yard
waste and contaminated paper that is belching GHG into the atmosphere.

I'm bitterly disappointed in Bloomberg -- and in the American public for

not helping him get a better final grade in Waste Management 101 (""The
mayor might have given himself an F on the trash issue not long ago,"
Izeman said, "But in striking this deal, he just turned in an A paper.")


>It will likely drop even further, perhaps to around $20 per ton, as
Hugo Neu
>picks up a larger share of the more lucrative paper market, which is
part of
>the terms of the contract, he said.


"With this contract, the city does for metal, glass and plastic what it
for paper nearly 10 years ago," said Councilman Michael E. McMahon, a
Island Democrat and chairman of the Council's waste management

>In 1997, the city offered a 20-year contract for 50 percent of the
>paper recycling, and Visy Industries, an Australian recycling company,
>stepped forward to build a $250 million processing plant on Staten
>"That contract gave paper recycling a permanent home, it attracted the
>needed investment to build permanent infrastructure and now the city
>amazing returns on it," Mr. McMahon said. "This contract holds the same
>basic promise."

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