Sun 23 Oct
Like a lot of New Yorkers I’m proud of the fact that, by walking or taking the subway almost everywhere, I consume far less gasoline than many residents of other cities. But this article suggests that smugness is not well-founded, as it’s also apparent that I’m probably generating much more non-recyclable waste than I could be. New York ranks sixteenth among twenty-seven cities in Siemens AG’ Green Cities Index and currently recycles just 15% of waste collected by the sanitation department, down from 23% a decade ago.
Numbers aside, the reporter’s own tally of non-recyclable waste products she collected after a week of take-out dining is sobering, and sadly familiar:
“I ended up with three plastic yogurt containers, a paper salad box, a paper cereal bowl, two Styrofoam plates, one plastic salad-dressing container and seven plastic food containers — the rigid ones with snap-on lids. Also, five plastic cups (each with a plastic straw), a paper cup with a plastic lid, a plastic water bottle and a plain old paper cup (it held milk for my cereal). Also, one plastic fork, one plastic knife and two compostable plastic spoons, which I threw out rather than composting.”