New York City Council Approves Ambitious Waste Plan

Date: July 23, 2006

Source: New York City Mayor's Office

Mayor Bloomberg Discusses Landmark Solid Waste Management Plan During Weekly Radio Address

(The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, July 23, 2006)

"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

"Every family has its squabbles about whose job it is to take out the trash. In New York City, where we produce more than 12,000 tons of residential garbage every day, there has been a long-running debate about how to take out our garbage in a way that is more environmentally responsible, economically sound, and equitable across all five boroughs. But just last week, I'm pleased to say, the City Council - under the leadership of Speaker Christine Quinn - passed our Administration's long-term plan to achieve these goals.

"Currently, the City transports most of its garbage by trucks that pollute our air with diesel fumes and clog our streets with traffic. The smart solution is to get the trucks off the road by getting our garbage onto barges and trains - and that's exactly what we're doing. Under our new plan, we'll build four new marine waste transfer stations and activate up to five rail waste transfer stations. This will allow us to transport nearly all of the city's residential garbage, and more of our commercial garbage, by barge or rail. As a result, Sanitation and tractor-trailer trucks will travel nearly 6 million fewer miles every year - and New Yorkers will have cleaner air and safer streets.

"Our new trash plan also makes economic sense. By investing in a barge and rail system, we will be able to transport trash longer distances more economically than we can by truck. And this will provide us with access to waste disposal locations that are less expensive than those we currently are forced to rely on.

"But perhaps the biggest success of the new waste-management plan is that it achieves equitability across all five boroughs. Right now, much of the city's garbage is trucked through a few communities - particularly in the South Bronx and North Brooklyn. Under our plan, that will change. Each borough will be responsible for processing the great bulk of the waste it produces. And that's only right - no borough should be a dumping ground for the others.

"Finally, our long-term plan also includes a new and ambitious recycling plan. Soon, the City will enter into a 20-year contract with a private company that will invest in a modern recycling plant in Sunset Park, which will create 100 new jobs on the Brooklyn waterfront.

This will continue to make recycling far more economical than it was just a few years ago, and will enable us to set more ambitious goals for the share of waste that is recycled. And just like our plan for hauling trash, our recycling plan will create a new waterborne network of transfer facilities that will accept recyclable material for shipment by barge to and from the Brooklyn plant.

"Mayor LaGuardia famously said that there is no Republican or Democratic way to clean the streets. He couldn't have been more right. I'm pleased to say that our plan was supported by members of both parties, including the entire Staten Island delegation. I want to applaud all the Council members who worked with our Administration to pass the plan. It will make a real difference for families throughout the City, by improving our air quality… and making our streets safer, less congested, and less noisy. Passing a viable a plan to deal with our City's waste wasn't easy. But by bringing innovative and equitable solutions to one of our most pressing challenges - just as we've done in the areas of public safety, economic growth, and affordable housing - we are looking out for the health and well-being of our communities…and our children, for years to come.

"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."

Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958

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