Engage: Successful waste management methods in NYC

After reading Incinerators in Disguise, we have come to an understanding that numerous waste treatment projects were essentially failures, whether it was shot down during the late proposal stages or others after it tried to manage, unsuccessfully, for several years. We can conclude that many projects are just claims. These projects that can benefit or negatively affect millions of people, have not been analyzed down to the microscopic details such as equipment failure or protection. How do you feel about proposals for solid waste management technologies in New York City? Do you trust the Department of Sanitation and mayor Bloomberg and the rest to inspect proposals and choose a technology that will really actually benefit our community, and in a city with such a large population, what waste management method and location will work into our city’s infrastructure without the people intervening negatively?

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3 Responses to Engage: Successful waste management methods in NYC

  1. Sean Proctor says:

    After reading the ‘Incinerators in Disguise’ paper, I don’t think any of those proposals would work for New York City for the exact reason you state; they are all faulty in one way or another. I also agree with your assertion that these projects are just ‘claims’. When I read about a company lying about projected emissions data before a launch, and then altering results to look better then they are, I think that it must be a group of people more concerned about financial gains then community (and global) wellbeing. This idea that the green industry is the new way to get rich is a troubling idea in that it will attract people who wish to maximize profit margins more than minimizing pollution.

    For that reason I trust New York City and the Department of Sanitation’s initiatives more than those from private companies. Because of the sheer number of people in our city, I believe that a significant amount of new technology will need to be created in order for us to not continue ‘exporting’ our waste. This technology will have to be designed specifically for our city, and the best people to initiate something of that sorts would be the government, especially because there will be tradeoffs that not everyone is happy making.

    I don’t believe the ideal waste management system has been created or implemented yet, especially one that could be integrated into such a unique city like ours. Unfortunately, I don’t see a situation where some people don’t resist potential changes in the near future. While we might be starting to feel the effects or climate change, the consistent life altering damage that becomes impossible to ignore will not happen in most peoples lifetimes. Sadly, most people are averse to solving potential future problems until it is too late.

  2. Raymond Wang says:

    I do not think such project proposals are for NYC. One thing about NYC is that we never want to be adversely affected by any type of environmental pollution of the sort. That may be why our water reservoirs are upstate and not actually in the city itself. Since there is high population in the city, we tend to “move” our problems to places that do not have such a dense population. NYC used to have a landfill on Staten Island yet that was moved due to the complaints from the residents. You can consider NYC to be that guy that wants all the benefits, yet doesn’t want to be a part of the harmful processes to get such benefits. I actually do not think that it would be possible for any type of waste management to be in NYC. This is due to the many people that live here who would not be content with such facilities being built. Even though I have faith in the city that they would provide a solution, I still believe that these types of facilities would be built outside the city limits. I do not think the city will have any room for such facilities.

    I actually believe that city is capable of choosing a method that will not harm the residents yet provide the benefits. I am sure that it would be difficult to work the details out but I think it can be done. Location is definitely the most important part, which I believe that the location would not be within the city. Also, I believe that the residents of the city will have say in these types of decisions. Therefore, I believe that city would be more inclined to follow their fellow residents rather than anyone else.

    With such a large city, I am sure that waste management is very important. However, I do not think that any type of reliable waste management system will arise in the near future. It would take a lot of planning for something of this scale to placed in such a busy city. However, I do have faith that this type of thing can be done with the help of the many communities.

  3. Steven Sklyarevskiy says:

    In “Incinerators in Disguise” almost every single example ended with the factory or plan being shut down because they couldn’t back-up the claim of “zero emissions.” It seems that politicians are therefore put in no-win position. They can claim that the plants will have zero emissions and cover up evidence to the contrary or be honest and face a large public resistance to any pollution at all. Although I’m usually skeptical of the government, I doubt that Bloomberg’s administration would employ a waste management program without adequate research proving an acceptable amount of pollution. The difficult part would be to convince people to put a plant in their neighborhood.

    Mayor Bloomberg would have to work with Governor Cuomo to establish a waste management plan that would protect New York City from increased levels of pollution. It would be a step -up from sending trucks of waste across multiple states while allowing businesses and densely populated areas in New York City to continue to function.

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