Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

composting

composting

  • (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Trash and sanitation have become a top issue for the City Council in this year’s budget season, but Mayor Eric Adams’s $99.7 billion executive budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year that begins July 1 failed to fund many Council demands. At a hearing on Tuesday, Council members questioned administration officials on their sanitation priorities — from corner basket pickups to composting — and their approach to a problem that has

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  • Council Member Chi Ossé on a sanitation tour of his district (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    Trash has become among the most prominent issues in this year’s New York City budget negotiations, as well as the focus of larger policy debates about how the city handles its garbage and recycling.

    The infamous mountains of black bags that clutter sidewalks, the overflowing waste baskets at street corners, and the litter on city streets have all been the subject of significant attention from Mayor Eric Adams, Comptroller Brad Lander, and many members of the New York City Council,

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  • Compost collection (photo: New York City Department of Sanitation)


    Last week was Food Waste Action Week in the United Kingdom and across Canada.

    The focus? Reducing and preventing food waste, with a variety of programs supporting smarter purchasing and cooking, with the goal of attacking what nearly every household generates too much of.

    By the (Canadian) numbers: 63% of the food households throw away is considered avoidable, meaning it could have been

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  • climate sha bike

    Shahana Hanif (photo: @ShahanaFromBK)


    Trash is too often an afterthought. Voters and friends pause when I share my love for recycling, composting, and colorful trash cans. But, as a climate champion endorsed by Sunrise NYC, Resilience PAC, TREEage NYC, and NYC’s chapter of Sierra Club, I know that waste equity is critical to achieving New York City’s climate resiliency goals.

    We need to stop thinking of waste as ‘trash.’ Waste is valuable material; compost is nutritious food for our community gardens’ soil. Over one third of New York City’s waste

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  • Kathryn Garcia sanitation garbage trash

    Kathryn Garcia (photo via the Department of Sanitation)


    This could be the election that flips an old maxim on its head: we may soon find out that there are many different Democratic ways to pick up the trash.

    While garbage probably won’t be among the top issues most voters care about when electing the next mayor of New York City, what better opportunity for a real conversation about how the city handles its trash and recycling than having the recently-departed sanitation commissioner among the candidates vying for the city’s top job.

    Kathryn

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  • recy org mater

    Compost collection (photo: New York City Department of Sanitation)


    As we come out of the Thanksgiving holiday and head further into the season of holiday meals, it is useful to take a moment to think about where all of those leftover food scraps end up. The ability to divert this organic waste from landfills is a lot more limited this year due to substantial budget cuts to New York City’s voluntary composting program. Utilizing recently-developed, small-scale organic

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  • paper recy si

    Garbage time (photo: Michael Anton/Department of Sanitation)


    Unequal impacts of COVID-19 on low-income Black and brown communities have magnified the consequences of our unsustainable working and living processes and accumulated environmental injustices.

    The highest rates of pandemic-related deaths are in the same communities that have long breathed more polluted air and who deal day-to-day with heightened police violence. The accelerating climate crisis will amplify both of these forms of violence as the stagnant quality of hot air concentrates local pollution and local

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  • financial opp

    Questions about recycling abound (photo: Michael Anton/Sanitation)


    The May 13 op-ed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, New York City Must Keep and Expand Organics Collection, It’s an Essential Service, suffers from two major fallacies.

    The authors begin their piece:

     “While is it is no secret that the city’s curbside organics collection program doesn’t pay

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  • rec org mat

    Organics collection (photo: NYC Department of Sanitation)


    Among the businesses listed as essential in Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE order are "trash and recycling collection, processing, and disposal" industries. Yet on April 7, Mayor de Blasio followed a different interpretation by announcing that the Department of Sanitation’s organics recycling program would be eliminated on May 4. To do away with this critical environmental program just to save a miniscule percentage of the city’s budget doesn’t make sense, and here’s why:

    While it is no secret that the city’s curbside

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  • bkrot twitter

    (photo: @BKROT)


    For most New Yorkers, the city’s private sanitation industry is mostly out of sight, out of mind. Yet it impacts us in major ways. The industry’s old trucks chug and idle along inefficient routes, spewing pollution throughout the city each night. Once collected, the trash is dumped in communities of color, namely north Brooklyn and the south Bronx. Carters make huge profits while paying their predominantly black and brown workers horrendous wages.

    Some workers have reported making as little as $80 for a 16-hour shift. Even more disturbing,

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