Gold In Garbage -- Reuse, Recycle, Resell
January 24th, 2006

Omar Freilla, director of Green Worker Cooperatives in the Bronx, writes in the DMI Blog of the ways in which the City Council could turn Mayor Michael Bloombergs garbage plan “into a blueprint for a new wave of job creation.” How? Instead of so much time, effort and money spent on disposing of the thousands of tons of garbage produced in New York City, officials could focus on reducing it. “Reuse and the manufacture of goods from recyclables can create several hundred more jobs for every one job in disposal.”

By on January 24, 2006, 7:11 am
In category: Environment | 6 Comments »

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6 Responses to “Gold In Garbage -- Reuse, Recycle, Resell”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    January 24th, 2006 at 9:23 am

    Whether it is gold or dross depends on the market price for recylceables, which is high now but was low earlier. Perhaps the city should continue to separate garbage when prices are low, but ship it to landfills where it would be stored separated. It could then be retrieved when conditions warrent.

  2. Scott Sala Says:
    January 24th, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    More jobs? Taxpayer-funded jobs?

    Taking your pet project and turning it into a massive taxpayer-funded operation for the purpose of creating “more jobs” is typical of the liberal mindset in this city.

    The current setup, paying for disposal through rent or owner payments, is a free market system. The proposed plan, which wants to reduce the amount of trash disposed of by recycling, takes money out of the private sector and moves it to the public sector.

    So the waste companies suffer and the new public recycling employees win. That is job transfer, not job creation. The benefit to the average New Yorker is nil. They will still pay the same, and um, have to start recycling more.

    Same hit on the pocketbook. More work.

    Oh, but we can all feel better about ourselves.

    That’s why Bloomberg elminated much of recycling when he initially took office. It sounds good but is an economic loser.

  3. Glenn Says:
    January 24th, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    just charging 5 cents a bag at the grocery stores would do wonders to create a market incentive to either use a cloth bag or just re-use your old bags. It’s very easy.

  4. thfs Says:
    January 24th, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Scott- your ignorance and knee-jerking is quite amusing.

    “waste companies suffer”: that’s funny, WNYC last year had a piece about the busting of the mafia control of the commercial carting business and the subsequent takeover of NYC carting by the big corporate haulers. It turns out that the corporate rates charged today are just as high as the mafia rates of 10 years ago.

    So much for efficiency. I don’t think those companies would suffer if this was put into effect and they’re doing pretty well by themselves. They can get into the recycling business if they want to. Many already are.

    Scott – the decision to recycle less material is the worst use of public money. Instead of trying to recycle more of our waste stream, NYC is exporting our municipal waste to PA and VA at a very, very high cost to the city. The most inefficient thing one can do with material is to throw it out. That’s not good economics.

    Also it turns out that Bloomberg’s decision to eliminate part of the recycling program actually COST the city money. oops.

    finally, the green-collar jobs that would be created are not government jobs. almost all would be private jobs – cf. Hugo Neu or Visy Paper. In fact, Visy Paper makes money for the city!

  5. Larry Littlefield Says:
    January 25th, 2006 at 7:59 am

    Again, this discussion whether or not recycling pays depends on the value of the recycled materials. So don’t rely on what you heard, or even what was proven, in the past.

    When the program was first implemented it didn’t pay.

    Because the price of vigin materials went up, it does pay now in many cases, though it would pay more if sanitation workers didn’t earn a day’s pay for a half day’s work on the bottles and cans.

    When the price goes down again, it won’t pay.

    On paper, the city has locked in a decent middle range deal, not so good, not so bad.

    You also have to consider that garbage importing states such as Virginia have a hand around our throat, just as oil producing countries do. And some of those states think as much of NY as those in the Middle East think of the United States.

  6. thfs Says:
    January 25th, 2006 at 10:17 am

    the program would also earn more money if the recycling program were able to deliver higher-quality sorts of materials.

    If metal glass and plastic weren’t all collected together, then we would be able to get a lot more for the glass, because it wouldn’t be all crushed into the plastic, rendering both unrecyclable a good part of the time.

    Also if glass were separately collected and not crushed into tiny specks, we would be able to actually make it into bottle glass again, a high-value product, as opposed to multi-color glass dust that has to go into low-value products like glassphalt.

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