Mary Chandrahasan wrote an inspired piece in the September issue of WestView on Designing Waste Strategies for NYC. She did overlook, however, that the City does not collect commercial and industrial wastes such as food, medicine, drug, hospital and chemical wastes. Those are collected privately. Where do they go? China has recently rejected recycled plastic wastes from the US partly because of food contamination and the Trump tariffs.
Paris, on the other hand, collects both residential and commercial waste under the banner of “La Propreté de Paris” (The Cleanliness of Paris). I have seen uniformed public servants moving containers close to building walls to prevent them from blocking sidewalks. Their equipment is clean, green, sleek, modern and quiet, small enough to move easily through its narrow streets and passages.
New York is also making gains in recycling clothing and organic wastes at buildings, curbsides and farmers markets. Our own Abingdon Square Greenmarket accepts these wastes every Saturday. One can bring left over worn out T-shirts and socks, vegetable and fruit peelings, and return home with fresh produce. Information can be found at 212-788-7964; Recycle@GrowNYC.org; or GrowNYC.org/Clothing.