Wednesday, April 29, 2015

De Blasio Plan to Eliminate New York City’s Garbage by 2030

De Blasio by Jonah Engler

The country's largest metropolis is concerned about reducing its impact on the environment, and its mayor, Bill De Blasio, has created a plan to eliminate 90 percent of NYC's garbage by 2030.

The approach will be presented as the "Zero Waste Plan," which would include an update for recycling and dramatic cutbacks in plastic shopping bag use. The ultimate goal is reducing the waste in NYC down to a half-million tons in the next 15 years. After a high of 3.6 million tons of garbage in 2005, the city is still producing massive amounts of garbage and compost, which puts strain on land fills.

The lofty plan is actually the continuation of an effort started by former mayor Mike Bloomberg. Called "PlaNYC," its goal was to provide mitigation of the impact climate and population has on the city. De Blasio supports Bloomberg's effort but has given it the name of "OneNYC."

The mayor stated the average NYC resident tosses out around 15 pounds of garbage each week, and that amount has to be greatly reduced in order to keep the city sustainable. Over the decades, the garbage has been transported to other states on barges and trains at the hefty price of $350 million each year. While the city has reduced its total garbage output by 14 percent through recycle and reuse programs, the OneNYC plan would encourage more reduction by making it easier to deal with waste.

The current system provides two types of bins for recycling. The new plan would call for a single bin, which would consolidate all recyclable materials. The city wants the new bins in place by 2020. In addition, the collection of compost, which is made up of organic material such as yard clippings and food and accounts for over 30 percent of all waste, would be collected from all homes in NYC by 2018. Homeowners would be eligible for a tax rebate under the plan. Businesses could also see tax incentives through a similar plan for a 90 percent reduction in commercial waste.

Those who do not cooperate with the waste-reduction meaures would be subject to large fines.

The mayor's administration did not impose a fee for plastic shopping bag use but acknowledged using fewer of them is a priority.

Through these measures, De Blasio is proving himself to be the mayor NYC needs. His budget for OneNYC will be revealed in May.

Jonah Engler is a finance expert and an entrepreneur who hails from New York City.

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