Mayor Michael Bloomberg commemorated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in Times Square by launching a public process to update PlaNYC — discussing the need to develop a comprehensive, sustainable approach to solid waste. This approach builds on the City’s solid waste management plan and recycling program by including a far-reaching strategy to encourage New Yorkers to generate less waste, reuse more of what they consume, and develop new ways to utilize any waste that is discarded.
“We have made great strides to improve our environment, build our economy, and enhance quality of life for all New Yorkers, but more remains to be done,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Through PlaNYC, which was launched just three years ago, we are transforming New York into a greener, greater city – even as we prepare for a million more New Yorkers. In doing so, we continue to prove that being more sustainable isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing.”
Local Law 17 of 2008, enacted by the City Council with the Mayor’s support, requires that PlaNYC be updated every four years.
In addition to evaluating the existing goals and initiatives in the original plan, updating PlaNYC is an opportunity to consider addressing policy areas that are not currently included.
The Mayor announced that solid waste would be included in the update where it wasn’t before. PlaNYC will build upon the Department of Sanitation’s recycling program, which is the largest and most ambitious in the nation, and the City’s Solid Waste Management Plan, which is transforming how the City disposes of waste by removing thousands of heavily polluting trucks from city streets and shifting solid waste transportation to barge and rail.
As part of the update for PlaNYC, the City will comprehensively review where New York’s 25,000 daily tons of waste comes from and formulate innovative policies designed to focus first on reducing the amount of waste generated, which has the greatest environmental impact, and then on initiatives that utilize waste as a resource, rather than considering it solely a by-product.
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