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NYC Recycling Cuts Come Under Criticism

Date: February 14, 2002

Source: News Room

Environmentalists have criticized New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's new proposal to suspend the recycling of metal, glass and plastic in the city as a way to help eliminate a $4.76 billion budget deficit. The proposal, part of a $41.4 billion budget proposal, calls for an 18-month suspension of metal, glass and plastic recycling. Bloomberg said the move would save the city $57 million. Paper recycling would continue. The city faces a $4.76 billion budget deficit, exacerbated by a weak economy and the World Trade Center attack. Bloomberg is calling for deep cuts across all programs in what he called "a spread your pain, no sacred cow" proposal. Much of the recycling program is costly and inefficient, he said. Glass, metal and plastic recycling costs $240 per ton, the mayor's office said, far more than the $130 per ton for simple trash disposal. The paper program costs $87 per ton. State law requires curbside recycling, and cities decide which materials to include. City officialssaid the City Council would have to approve the plan.

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