New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has laid down the gauntlet for foam food service and packaging products in the city. The Mayor has imposed a ban that will commence on July 1, 2015, much to the disapproval of many, the most vocal in recent days being State Senator Michael Nozzolio.
Senator Nozzolio has spoken out vehemently against the ban, which he feels will have little to no impact on the waste problem in the city and will only accomplish putting hard-working New Yorkers out of a job. Nozzolio is hoping that de Blasio will repeal the ban and opt for a much more productive solution – recycling.
Dart Container Corporation, based out of Michigan, has stepped up to the plate and offered to facilitate a citywide recycling initiative. Dart’s Corporate Director of Recycling Programs, Michael Westerfield, says that if the city were to include expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) in its curbside recycling collection programs, then Dart would pay for conveyors and optical sorters to be added to the NYC processing centers. Dart’s partner company, Plastic Recycling Inc. (PRI), based out of Indianapolis, has agreed to take the foam materials collected from New York and recycle them. Dart would then find end markets for the recycled materials and cover the cost of the transportation of these materials.
Foam alternatives are roughly twice as expensive as EPS and this cost would be inflicted on business owners in the city and manufacturers upstate, in particular the Finger Lakes region. The proposed recycling initiative would be at no cost to the city and could hopefully have a positive impact on the waste problem by reducing or eliminating foam from landfills.
Senator Nozzolio is urging de Blasio and the New York City Council to reconsider and look towards Dart’s recycling program suggestion as a more positive and effective solution.
Recycling programs, such as the one proposed by Dart, have been implemented in other cities around the world with great success. Montreal, for example, had such success with a one-year pilot program that the city decided to extend it for at least another five years. Let’s hope that New York City can find a less drastic solution to foam waste and opt for something more beneficial to its citizens and the environment.
Source: Auburn Pub