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

I actually wrote a report on the prospects for PAYT in NYC a few years

The political prospects are rather dim, despite a growing awareness by
policymakers that something needs to be done to help bring down the
overall cost of waste management in NYC.

There are lots of logistical issues that argue against PAYT in NYC, as
the report details. But I think the biggest problem is the unwritten
rule that all parts of the city have to be handled the same way, with
the same collection system, recycling rules, etc. Until NYC is willing
to view itself more as a collection of often dissimilar neighborhoods
with different needs/opportunities (e.g. large number of single family
dwellings in Queens and Staten Island vs. mainly multi-family buildings
in manhattan) it will be difficult to sell PAYT to the Mayor and

Steve Hammer

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Gresty [mailto:mgresty@no.address]
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 12:59 PM
To: 'greenyes'
Subject: RE: [greenyes] FW: [MassRecycle] New York City recommits to

It would seem that the next step following implementation of the
recyling plan would be to tackle the quality of the recylcing stream
itself, and invite New Yorkers to help by improving their sorting still
further. Are there any plans afoot to do this? Pay as you throw and free
or even paid quality recyclables on the kerbside?

---- Steve Hammer <shammer@no.address> wrote:
> Another important thing Helen may want to keep in mind is that this
> recycling deal is only part of NYC's updated solid waste management
> plan, which is scheduled to be adopted by the City Council in October.
> The SWMP is intended to cover all aspects of the city's solid waste
> program, and it is required by state law.
> Although I haven't followed the SWMP process in detail this year, my
> guess is that NYC will continue to make statements (as it has in past
> updates of the plan) that it supports federal Producer Responsibility
> Legislation and other ideas that most recycling and waste prevention
> advocates would support.
> That being said, it is reasonable to question what the city has done
> follow through on such proposals. Chris is right that NYC is not a
> state, and thus doesn't necessarily have the capacity to enact
> progressive rules on its own, despite the massive size of the local
> marketplace.
> Since I've been out the policy loop lately, I'll leave it to others
> around NYC to comment on how well the City's lobbyists have been doing
> fighting for these 'big' ideas in Albany and Washington.
> Steve Hammer
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Boyd [mailto:chrishboyd@no.address]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 12:29 PM
> To: Eric Lombardi; 'Helen Spiegelman'; 'Jenny Gitlitz'; 'greenyes'
> Cc: 'Pat Franklin'
> Subject: RE: [greenyes] FW: [MassRecycle] New York City recommits to
> recycling!
> Helen,
> We can always do better. But do you really think that some product
> redesign legislation, which would address only products sold in NYC,
> 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.
> can and will work towards more sustainable solutions, but NYC needs
> responses that address its needs now.
> Consider:
> 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.
> 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--
> 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
> 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
> that can carry @650 tons of material, keeping thousands of truck-trips
> from having to venture into the community and significantly reducing
> total truck-miles.
> Part of the reason that paper is so successful in NYC is that the
> 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
> 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.
> Chris
> 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
> public..."
> 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
> DFE is the key step forward. So let's not stop there... let's hear
> 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
> 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
> 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
> the problems, and ultimately cynical and negative... and that just
> away our energy. No thank you.
> Eric
> -----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
> recycling!
> There's a flaw in the reasoning here.
> One cannot infer that the city is going to get "amazing returns" on
> metal,
> glass and plastic (not to mention all the other products in which they
> are
> inextricably commingled) and that these materials will perform "the
> paper did" just because they are hauled in city sanitation trucks to
> place to be mechanically separated.
> Where, I ask this GREENYES list -- you, who are supposed to be the
> Century thinkers about waste! -- is the incentive for producers to
> design
> better products?
> What Mayor Bloomberg has done, with all of you cheering him on, is let
> the
> producers of all those throwaway products off the hook for a good,
> time.
> Here in Canada, the city of Toronto is facing an even more
> quandary than New York. Their trash is being exported across the
> to
> Michigan (Kerry is even trying to make it an election issue).
> 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
> they're
> 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
> not helping him get a better final grade in Waste Management 101
> mayor might have given himself an F on the trash issue not long ago,"
> Mr.
> Izeman said, "But in striking this deal, he just turned in an A
> Helen.
> >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.
> (snip)
> "With this contract, the city does for metal, glass and plastic what
> did
> for paper nearly 10 years ago," said Councilman Michael E. McMahon, a
> Staten
> Island Democrat and chairman of the Council's waste management
> committee.
> >In 1997, the city offered a 20-year contract for 50 percent of the
> city's
> >paper recycling, and Visy Industries, an Australian recycling
> >stepped forward to build a $250 million processing plant on Staten
> Island.
> >
> >"That contract gave paper recycling a permanent home, it attracted
> >needed investment to build permanent infrastructure and now the city
> gets
> >amazing returns on it," Mr. McMahon said. "This contract holds the
> >basic promise."
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