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Archive for the tag 'recycling center'

It’s a common site: Elderly women and men pushing grocery carts filled with bottles and cans. Sometimes, they rifle through public bins and other times, it’s private trash.

It’s not easy work, especially for a septuagenarian, and the reward is often worth less than the effort. Yet, these men and women continue to pick Coke cans worth just nickels day after day.

Other issues come up when discussing neighborhood can collectors.

Tom, a West 7th Street resident, says he’s gotten two sanitation tickets from the rubbish one collector left on his property after she was done digging in his bin. Now, he leaves a plastic bag with just cans and bottles on his wrought-iron gate so that there’s no trash left behind.

“It’s a pain,” he says, “because I have to seperate my recycleables even more, but I refuse to get a ticket for someone else’s mess.”

There’s another item for consideration. The Sanitation Department has been called out for poor recyclables sorting in the past. Plus, New Yorkers often throw bottles and cans in the trash, not into recycling bins. Something like 30 million single-use containers end up in the landfill everyday.

So, do the can collectors support the city and the environment in better sorting for plastics and aluminum or are they a neighborhood nuisance?

“What the What?” is a new photo feature looking at odd, weird and interesting things in the neighborhood. If you have photos of what the what happenings in Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights or the surrounding areas send them to lvladimirova [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com.

Bensonhurst recycle

Source: Aude via Wikimedia Commons

A package of bills aimed at the environmental betterment of New York were passed by the State Assembly and have advanced to the State Senate.

The “Earth Day” package contains nine bills aimed at securing the health of New York’s environment, including protecting clean drinking water, protection from toxic chemicals, reducing invasive species, innovative recycling techniques and other forms of environmental justice.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney announced the passage of the Earth Day package.

“Keeping our air and water clean, creating as little landfill waste as possible, protecting all New Yorkers from harmful chemicals, the Assembly Earth Day package is intended to protect our communities and the natural beauty of our state. The bills included in this package underscore the Assembly’s commitment to environmental conservation,” said Sweeney in a press release.

The package includes Bill A.1241, which is sponsored by Assemblyman William Colton.

The bill will improve recycling by diverting recyclables from landfills. It also states that systems for separating and disposing of recyclables will have to be implemented, such as separate plants for recyclable items. Further, cities would need to enforce new laws that prohibit the mixing recyclables with any other non-recyclable material as well as prohibit landfills from taking any recyclables.

“New York State has come a long way since 1985 in statewide recycling practices,” said Colton, as reported by the Legislative Gazette. “Twenty years of experience has allowed the Department of Environmental Conservation and Empire State Development to easily identify materials that are common to most programs in the state and that have had consistently viable markets.”

Other bills in the package require publicly owned sewage treatment plants to report any overflows of untreated or partially treated sewage; draw attention to harmful chemicals as well as lessen the number exposures to them; Require the DEC to publish a list of the most dangerous areas affected by existing environmental hazards; Require the DEC to establish a website with a list of harmful chemicals used in children’s products and ban them; Encourage the proper disposal of pharmaceutical drugs, and a host of other environmental concerns.

Reader Linda S. says she’s been having some major problems with rats after a recycling center opened on New Utrecht Avenue between 78th Street and 79th Street.

We’ve been trying to help Linda get in touch with Assemblyman Abbatte’s office and in the meantime asked her if she could send us over some photos to illustrate her problem.

Well, Linda came through like a champ. She braved the rat infested streets after dark to capture these images of rodents that seem to have the run of the place.

Hopefully some publicity will hasten the city to take action.

From Linda’s e-mail:

Hi Joe,

I have attached 3 pictures I took tonight outside the recycling center.  As you can see these are big rats and there must have been a dozen of them running in and out.  The gate to the recycling center doesn’t go all the way down to the ground so they just keep running in and out, back and forth to the curb.  People are trying to walk by and they can’t, women, old people and kids are all being terrified by this situation.  I will try to get a picture of the building during the day also.  You will not believe the amount of bottles being handled in there.  This is so inappropriate for a residential area