Last week Mayor Bloomberg officially signed a package of legislation into law that intends to revolutionize recycling in New York City though a variety of new programs and initiatives, including a new clothing and textile recycling program, expanded plastic recycling, and better public space recycling. The biggest news in our mind is the inclusion of all rigid plastic to the recycling program, not just bottles. Find out more below:
NYC City Council Speaker Christine Quinn spoke with WNYC on Friday and gave the details on what exactly this new legislation means. Prior to this legislation, only plastic bottles were recyclable (no takeout cups or containers, for example), but now all rigid plastic is recyclable. The law goes into effect within 90 days. There are also plans to develop a robust commercial recycling program, since many businesses still don't recycle. Other plans, as laid out on Council Member Letitia James' staff blog:
Int. 156: Improves recycling at City agencies by requiring each agency to establish sustainability coordinators and to implement plans to expand recycling with each agency.
Int. 165: Requires schools to designate a recycling coordinator and provide recycling receptacles in each classroom and at other locations.
Int. 158: Requires DOS to site 300 new recycling bins in public spaces over the next three years, and a total of 700 bins within the next ten years.
Int. 162: Mandates at least one DOS sponsored household hazardous waste collection event in each borough per year, with a long-term goal of increasing the number of events, or making such sites permanent.
Int. 148: Expands plastic recycling to cover all rigid plastic containers, including such items as yogurt tubs, take out containers and medicine bottles.
Int. 147: Improves recycling education, enforcement, and fine increases.
Int. 142: Extends the DOS collection period from March 1 – November 30 beginning in 2012, and requires the Department of Sanitation to establish leaf and yard waste composting facilities in all boroughs where the Department provides yard waste compost collection.
Int. 141: Requires DOS to complete a study of commercial recycling practices.
Int. 142: Establishes a voluntary take-back program for retailers and manufacturers of unused residential paint.
Int. 164: Improves recycling reporting requirements and requires additional studies to enhance the City's recycling programs.
Int. 171: Requires a report to study ways to improve food waste composting in New York City.
(Image: Vos Iz Neias)