To Internalize Waste Disposal or Not?

The Municipal Solid Waste in New York City paper stated various options that New York City has to cope with the disposal of waste that will continue to increase in the upcoming years. Currently, the majority of waste is being managed by out of city facilities that bring solid waste out to regions outside of New York City to be sorted and taken care of. However, the unsteady and often increasing prices of gas affects transportation costs for this form of waste disposal. One option, the Comprehensive Solid Waste Plan, was brought up in order to centralize solid waste disposal into New York City itself through the construction and development of transfer stations. This option would allow New York City to become more self sufficient in its solid waste disposal and not be affected by the effects of dynamic gas prices. However this solution also has drawbacks such as the current budget shortfalls that would create a financial burden for the city as well as community opposition towards the building of transfer facilities.

Should New York City move towards a self sustainable means of solid waste disposal but have to potentially face financial drawbacks, or continue to rely on outside facilities and transportation modes that would on the other hand lessen the burden of New York City having to mange its own waste disposal?

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2 Responses to To Internalize Waste Disposal or Not?

  1. Eleni Efstathiadis says:

    New York City moving towards a self sustainable means of solid waste disposal is the better idea. Sustainability means a long term solution and efficiency. Furthermore, by eventually getting rid of long-haul trucking, we are mitigating the negative environmental impact, in addition to high transportation rises. I agree that this solution is not perfect but all solutions are going to have drawbacks. Addressing the budget shortfall- more energy efficient technologies that make the process cheaper can be implemented. There can be more of a push for funding from private companies, especially those with environmental interests. Another problem is community opposition to transfer stations. This can be fixed by educating the community on how important these transfer stations really are. People are quick to dismiss ideas if they are not educated.

  2. Rishi Ajmera says:

    I understand the point you make about budget shortfalls that prevent New York City from implementing policies such as solid waste disposal. However, if you take a closer glance at the spending habits of municipal government, they actually do invest a decent sum of capital into projects to promote sustainable living, especially under the Bloomberg administration. However, the allocation is divided amongst a great deal of causes and therefore many of them are not nearly as effective as they could be if they focus on fewer areas. For example, if the city were to cut off certain sustainability efforts and allocate more to areas such as solid waste disposal, it would likely yield a more favorable result. The only difficulty it faces is being able to decide where to cut off and where to allocate more money, while keeping citizens happy.

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