New York

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made a name for himself outside of the largest city in the United States. Recently, he has been on a crusade to fix the ills of society, one local proposition at a time. It was his ban on super-sized sodas that gave him the most attention, but there were further measures he has put into practice to make the city a healthier place. Along with his fight against Trans fats, he has also gone after headphones and the decibel level they produce, specifically in ear buds that are inserted directly into the user’s ears. There is also his initiative for hospitals to hide baby formula from new mothers. So what is his next crusade you ask? It’s something considerably less diabolical. Bloomberg has a plan that would begin collecting the food waste from citizens of New York City.

Other, smaller metropolises across the country (particularly on the West Coast) have already gotten in on food-waste recycling. And while many fear that New York is too populated to do it successfully, pilot programs throughout the city have shown success. Residents are receptive to the recycling plan, and it would begin as a voluntary service. There is the potential, however, for it to become mandatory a few years after implementation. This is not without precedent, as New Yorkers are subject to a fine if they do not recycle their waste that is able to be reused.

Quoting a New York Times article: “Sanitation officials said 150,000 single-family homes would be on board voluntarily by next year, in addition to more than 100 high-rise buildings — more than 5 percent of the households in the city. More than 600 schools will take part as well.” Sanitation officials claim within a few years the service would expand to the rest of the city.

The Bloomberg administration announced that it will be hiring a composting plant able to take in 100,000 tons of food scraps per year (about 10% of the city’s residential food waste). The administration also wants to build a processing plant of their own that would allow the waste to be converted into electricity. For a city that some deem as too large to conduct any programs that are environmentally friendly, this is something that may come as a surprise. Not only will it save the city money that would normally be spent on disposing of this waste (sometimes it was necessary to transport it across states), it will also provide an energy source as well as result in a less detrimental impact on the environment.

Story and Info Via New York Times
Pic Via Bernd Untiedt