Bloomberg’s Healthy Legacy

Posted by on June 19th, 2013

While reading the Sunday paper this week I came across this article describing New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s most recent efforts to improve our city and its inhabitants.  His laundry list of advancements include attempts to reduce the size of soda containers, curbing cigarette friendly areas and encouraging bike riding through the recent Citi-Bike program.  In his latest effort to develop health awareness the mayor is starting a program to recycle food scraps across the city.

In a type of new-age recycling, New York City residents will gather food waste (i.e. stale bread, chicken bones and potato peels) in picnic-basket sized containers and deposit them in brown bins either on the curb to be picked up by sanitation trucks or in the recycling areas of high rise apartment buildings.  Food waste and other organic materials that could be recycled in the new program account for one third of all residential trash, and could save approximately $100 million/year according to the article.

Plans are expected to be announced shortly to open a composting plant large enough to handle 100,000 tons of food scraps/year, creating not only a lot of compost, but also new jobs along with it.  In addition, the administration will seek proposals from a company to build a plant to process residents’ food waste into biogas, which will then be used to generate electricity.

I for one look forward to the new initiative, and the benefits that come along with it.  In a struggling economy this type of “FDR-esque” program could add lasting value to the city not only through the savings in waste management, but also the creation of companies to help accommodate the program, like the biogas conversion company.  Companies like this are what drive the economy, and create further jobs as they use outside resources to help expand and market themselves to investors and customers alike.

So when they look back on Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy, hopefully they’ll be able to say he was the first mayor to turn the city’s hot piles of garbage into jobs and electricity.