New York City will soon move into modern times with an updated recycling program that will increase plastic recycling, place more recycling bins around the city and add drop off locations in the boroughs for household hazardous waste. The legislation has been written and that is left is for NYC Mayor Bloomberg to sign the law into effect, which is expected to take place on Earth Day, April 22nd. New Yorkers will finally be able to recycle many different types of plastic – even yogurt containers!
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This new legislation will be the first major update to NYC recycling laws since 1989. Christine Quinn, City Council Speaker, said “Now, more than 20 years later, we’re finally about to give New York City’s recycling laws a 21st-century upgrade.” The biggest change will mean New Yorkers can recycle “all rigid plastic containers, like those used to hold laundry detergent, motor oil and yogurt.” Additionally, over the next three years, 300 recycling bins will be placed in public areas, and within a decade 700 will be placed around the city.
The Department of Sanitation, who is responsible for the updates, will also be placing clothing collection bins around the city. Amazingly, clothing waste in NYC accounts for 10% of the city’s waste. Annual household hazardous waste drop-off locations, for items like bleach, paint and turpentine, will be scheduled for each of the boroughs. Fines will also be placed on residential and commercial customers who do not participate.
Ms. Quinn also said that “the new laws would keep more than 8,000 tons of plastic out of landfills annually, roughly the equivalent of 10,000 residents’ trash.” The law is expected to pass on April 22nd, but unfortunately many of the changes may not take place right away. Plastics recycling is contingent upon a new recycling facility in Brooklyn, which will not be finished until 2010.
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