Mayor Bloomberg's food composting edict could create a Manhattan feast - for rats

← return to Water Cooler

Wilted lettuce, egg shells, potato parings: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes local city folk will compost their kitchen scraps in the name of green-minded citizenship, or, uh, incur a fine.

“This is a rotten idea for the Big Apple,” says Jeff Stier, the New York City-based director of risk analysis for the National Center for Public Policy Research. He’s quick to point out that his group supports voluntary composting. “In fact, we already have voluntary composting where residents can send kitchen scraps to gardens around the five boroughs,” Mr. Stier notes.

“But we live in a big city, not on a farm, and while composting is a great idea in certain circumstances, it doesn’t make sense to mandate that all New York residents save their rotting food,” he says. “Consider the increased risks from disease-carrying vermin, a problem the city still hasn’t conquered, from all of the pre-compost material sitting around our dense living spaces.”

And what about greenhouse gas emissions from extra compost trucks rolling around the city? “Perhaps they’ll be carrot-peel powered,” Mr. Stier says.

Mr. Bloomberg, meanwhile, has been mulling over the idea of building a special energy plant that converts all that compost to bio-gas, and ultimately generates electricity. A pilot food composting project on Staten Island that includes 3,500 homes is already underway.

“It’s working,” the mayor told reporters on Monday, noting that he occasionally makes the environmental gesture himself.

“We don’t cook at home, but, yes, we have separate trash for composting stuff,” Mr. Bloomberg noted.

← return to Water Cooler

blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

    LAMBRO: Skirting the lane-closure issue

  • Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

    LYONS: Benghazi demands a select committee in Congress

  • Happening Now